Spain has become the first country in western Europe to record one million coronavirus cases – marking a doubling of its tally in just six weeks.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the country is now at 1,005,295, after reporting 16,973 cases on Wednesday, according to the Spanish health ministry.

Spain’s coronavirus infection rate began to climb rapidly in late August and began hitting 10,000 cases a day after a slowdown in positive tests over the summer.

The government is said to be considering imposing curfews in some of the worst-hit areas, including Madrid, in an effort to slow down the rate of infection.

It comes as neighbour France considers extending it’s coronavirus state of emergency until February 2021 as it also nears one million cases.

On Friday, the country reported more than 30,000 cases in a single day, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

Tuesday’s total of 20,468 brought the national figure to more than 973,000 while almost 34,000 people have died after catching coronavirus.

French media reported that hospitals in the cities of Clermont and Dijon were moving to emergency mode, meaning that they postpone non-coronavirus related operations and cancel staff holidays.

Hospitals in the Paris region moved into emergency mode earlier this month, as coronavirus patients made up close to half of all patients in intensive care units (ICUs).

Across Europe, 20 countries set new daily case records on Wednesday, including the UK, which saw a rise of 26,688.

That was followed by Italy on 15,199 and Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic) on 11,984, while Poland saw 10,040.

The Netherlands logged 8,500 new cases, nearly a week after ministers there announced a partial lockdown.

Ukraine (6,719), Switzerland (5,596), Romania (4,848) Slovakia (2,202), Armenia (1,836), Slovenia (1,503), Croatia (1,424), Bulgaria (1,336), Greece (865), Belarus (733), North Macedonia (640), Bosnia and Herzegovina (728), Lithuania (311) and Latvia (188) also set new records.