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Spain, France Exceed 1 Million Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Each

A waiter closes a bar terrace in Paris earlier this month amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
A waiter closes a bar terrace in Paris earlier this month amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Spain and France each surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases this week as Europe battles outbreaks and record numbers throughout the continent.

Spain surpassed 1 million confirmed cases on Wednesday and is reporting 1,005,295 cases as of Thursday evening local time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

It became the sixth nation worldwide to report 1 million cases, following the U.S., India, Brazil, Russia and Argentina.

Hours later, France exceeded 1 million confirmed cases. It is reporting 1,000,369.

Spain and France now have the sixth and seventh highest global counts, respectively. Each has reported more than 34,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Europe has been battling rising COVID-19 case counts. The leaders of many EU countries are imposing stricter COVID-19 restrictions, while also trying to avoid national lockdowns.

Last week, Europe reported more than 977,000 new cases — its highest single-week case count,

France's case count exceeded the 1 million mark a week after President Emmanuel Macron imposed a monthlong curfew on Paris and other cities. Macron declared a national emergency.

The Spanish government imposed a 15-day state of emergency in the Madrid region earlier this month, NPR's Marisa Peñaloza reported.

The U.S. has the most confirmed cases in the world at 8,354,300. It surpassed 1 million cases in April.

Ireland became the first European country to return to a national lockdown after its total number of cases rose by 75% since early September. The government asked residents to stay within a 3-mile radius of their homes and closed many businesses.

"We can make sure the second wave is only a ripple," Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Monday, "but that depends on all of us."

Reese Oxner is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.