Spain first in Western Europe to pass 1 mln cases

Spain is now the first Western European country to exceed 1 million reported COVID-19 infections, despite increasingly aggressive control methods.

After slowing to a trickle in the wake of Spain's strict March-to-June lockdown, the infection rate accelerated to frequently exceed 10,000 cases a day from late August.

It hit a new peak of more than 16,000 last week.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Thursday (October 22) that Spain needs drastic measures to tackle Europe's second wave, which he says is out-of-control in his country.

He is now considering new restrictions including curfews.

However, daily deaths in the country have been hovering around 100, still a far cry from the peak of nearly 900 registered in late March.

A two-week lockdown in Madrid and surrounding cities is coming to an end on Friday.

The health minister, like other global health officials, is also concerned over winter's approach where most activities will be indoors, increasing the probability of transmitting the disease.

Hospital admissions have jumped 20% nationwide in two weeks.

This may also potentially postpone some non-urgent surgeries as the health service may have to move resources to combat the pandemic.