Milan on October 20, 2020 in front of the Duomo shows people walking across and wearing protective face masks.

A medical worker prepares an injection in a corridor of the Infectious Diseases Department at Gonesse Hospital before visiting a patient in Gonesse, north of Paris, on October 22. Christophe Archambault / AFP / Getty Images

The five countries with the highest rates of coronavirus infections as measured by population are all in Europe. This comes from the latest Johns Hopkins University moving averages, analyzed by CNN.

They are the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.

In all five countries, the number of new infections has risen rapidly since the beginning of October and is still increasing.

  • On October 19, the Czech Republic had a moving daily average (measured over five days) of 10,579 new cases. That means 988 new infections per day per million inhabitants. On October 1, the rate was 238 per million.
  • Belgium was not far behind with an average of 891 new infections per million inhabitants on October 19. At the beginning of the month, that average was just 198.

These two countries have by far the highest rate of new Covid-19 infections, while other countries in Europe are seeing a sharp increase.

The Dutch daily average of new cases was 2,944 at the beginning of October; on October 19 it was 8,277. Measured per million inhabitants, this corresponds to an increase from 172 to 483 in less than three weeks.

Johns Hopkins lists the 20 countries hardest hit by the pandemic, and in the past few days Switzerland has been added. The moving average of new cases on October 19 was 3,618 – more than seven times higher than the number (504) on October 1. This corresponds to 423 new cases per million inhabitants per day.

France had 381 new cases per million population on October 19.

The UK saw its moving average rise sharply this month from 9,729 new cases to 19,290 per day – that’s 284 cases per million.

The picture in Spain is less dramatic, but the daily average remains stubbornly high. Despite new measures to restrict freedom of movement in the hardest hit areas, the daily average number of new cases fell from 14,690 at the beginning of the month to 13,987 on October 19 – 299 per million.

While infections per million are lower in other European countries, they are still increasing.

Italy, which was one of the worst hit countries at the beginning of the year, is suffering from a new surge. The moving average of new cases increased from 2,208 at the beginning of the month to 11,341 this week.

Poland is also one of the Johns Hopkins listed countries – its moving average more than quadrupled this month.

In a broader sense, according to Johns Hopkins, the moving averages of new cases in India and Brazil continue to decline, while the US is seeing a gradual but sustained increase. The moving average has risen from 43,089 in early October to 59,387 this week, equivalent to 179 new cases per day per million population.