The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen sharply over the past week in Europe, while worldwide the figure has surpassed 30 million, according to America’s Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths has now passed 940,000.

The World Health Organisation’s director for Europe said in Copenhagen on Thursday that the number of new cases has doubled in the majority of EU states.

Hans Kluge said: “We have a very serious situation unfolding before us.” He added that the figures “should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

The UK is reportedly considering a new two-week lockdown to brake the chain of infection. In Spain, which had endured a particularly hard lockdown earlier in the year, recorded 239 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. In response, authorities in Madrid are considering a city0wide lockdown.

As happened earlier in the year, European leaders are calling for a coordinated response in terms of border closures and quarantines, but with several countries already having already made unilateral decisions, that seems unlikely.