After a period that saw many countries ease restrictions and reopen borders and businesses in the face of falling case numbers, the world is now facing what is often referred to as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, daily new cases hit a new high of 394,501 on October 17, with the seven-day average quickly approaching 350,000. While the high number of new cases is partly due to a steep increase in testing compared to a couple of months ago, the most recent surge in new infections, with Europe at the forefront, cannot be attributed to testing alone.
As of October 18, more than 40 million people have contracted COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in more than 1.1 million deaths. As the following chart shows, global new cases surged in recent weeks after having plateaued over the summer.