Spain's COVID-19 incidence rate has skyrocketed to 221 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, more than six times the European average, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows.
The total number of cases recorded in the country jumped by 8,115 on Tuesday, the biggest daily jump observed since March 23, according to Worldometers.
However, the tally includes cases confirmed via antibody testing which reveals that a person has contracted and recovered from the virus.
More than 470,900 cases and 29,152 deaths have been recorded in Spain since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, figures from the Ministry of Health show.
In the previous seven days, just under 49,400 new cases were confirmed, higher than the 37,000 recorded the week before and more than double the tally of the week ending August 12.
The number of deaths has also accelerated with 159 people losing their lives to SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — over the past seven days. In the weeks ending August 21 and August 12, 125 and 65 fatalities were recorded respectively.
According to the ECDC, Spain's 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate now stands at 221 cases per 100,000 inhabitants — far above the average 34.5 cases per 100,000 population observed across the 31 countries the organisation monitors.
With 92.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, France currently has the second-highest 14-day incidence rate.
French health authorities announced on Tuesday that 4,982 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total number of infections recorded in the country to more than 286,000.
The rate of positive tests is now at 4.3 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent on August 21 and 2.3 per cent on August 13.
The country's COVID-19 death toll rose by 19 on Tuesday to 30,661.
Health authorities across Europe warned from early July that the number of infections — brought down sharply by lockdown measures — was starting to increase again as restrictions were lifted and people enjoyed their summer holidays.
Most reported that the rise mainly impacted the young who are most likely to suffer from mild infections or be asymptomatic.
In Germany — where an early, aggressive test and trace strategy was adopted leading to much fewer deaths than in neighbouring countries — the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) stressed on Tuesday that transmission from younger age groups into older age groups must be prevented.
"As soon as the number of infections rises among elderly people, hospitalisations and number of deaths will likely rise again," it warned
The RKI said on Tuesday that 1,218 new cases were recorded in Germany in the previous 24 hours and that a further four people had died, bringing the death toll to 9,302.
More than 857,000 people are known to have lost their lives to the pandemic around the world while 25.7 million have been infected, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The US is the most heavily impacted country with more than 184,600 deaths and 6 million cases recorded.