The world has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
On Thursday, global infections rose by 338,779 in just 24 hours, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on October 2.
The record increase was fuelled by a surge of infections in Europe.
The continent recorded 96,996 new coronavirus cases overnight – the highest daily total to date.
As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the US.
India reported 78,524 new cases overnight, followed by Brazil at 41,906 and the US with 38,904, the WHO reported.
European countries are now preparing for a tightening up of restrictions in response to the second wave of infections.
France has imposed tough new measures to curb the outbreak – including the closure of bars and restaurants in a number of cities – after the country reported more than 18,000 new infections for a second day running.
Meanwhile, Germany reported its biggest daily increase in new cases since April, with 4,058 new cases and 16 deaths confirmed overnight.
Infections in the UK also reached record levels with over 17,000 new cases reported on Thursday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the country was reaching a “perilous moment” in the pandemic as Downing Street confirmed that a “range of measures” was being looked at to stem the spread of infections.
Further afield, while India still leads in the globe in most new cases reported per day, new infections are down 20 per cent from its peak.
However, the US, which has recorded the highest total number of cases and deaths in the world, is continuing to see a steady rise in new infections.
The country today reported the highest number of hospitalised Covid-19 since early September.
On Thursday, Global deaths also rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million, according to the WHO.
The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on April 17.