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October 19, 2020, 07.08 PM

BRUSSELS, – The tally for coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 40 million on Monday with new Covid restrictions in Europe being reintroduced.

Several European countries imposed fresh measures to combat the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus battering the continent.

One of the newly-introduced Covid restrictions in Europe was in Belgium which imposed a nationwide overnight curfew from Monday.

Switzerland is making wearing face masks mandatory in indoor public spaces.

Read also: Covid-19 Situation in Europe Forces Governments to Tighten Restrictions

The two countries are among some of the European governments trying to swiftly respond to fight a powerful second coronavirus wave.

The latest surge in cases sent the total registered worldwide past 40 million at 7:15am on Monday, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

More than half the global caseload is in the three hardest-hit countries: the United States, India and Brazil.

In Europe, more than 250,000 people have died, but the deepening crisis there stands in contrast to Australia, where the second-biggest city has begun easing a lockdown that kept millions of people largely confined to their homes for months.

Cafes and restaurants across Belgium were shuttered for four weeks as the country tackled its own infection spike, part of a continent-wide surge that has seen a 44-percent increase in cases across Europe in the past week.

Read also: Europe Unprepared as Second Wave of Infections and Pandemic Fatigue Strikes Continent

Some businesses have protested despite authorities warning the country was in the middle of an exponential increase in cases.

"We don't feel considered, and it hurts my heart," said Angelo Bussi, a restaurant manager in Brussels. "Everyone is in pain. It's horrible.

'Second wave is here'

Switzerland was largely spared when the coronavirus emerged in China late last year and swept the world.


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