- The death toll across Europe's 52 countries, compiled by AFP from official sources, totalled at least 1,000,288 by 1830 GMT.
GENEVA: Europe passed the grim milestone of one million coronavirus deaths on Monday, as the World Health Organization warned that infections are rising exponentially despite widespread efforts aimed at stopping them.
The death toll across Europe's 52 countries, compiled by AFP from official sources, totalled at least 1,000,288 by 1830 GMT.
"We are in a critical point of the pandemic right now," said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on Covid-19.
"The trajectory of this pandemic is growing... exponentially.
"This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, when we have proven control measures," she told reporters.
The coronavirus has already killed more than 2.9 million people and infected nearly 136 million across the world.
But despite the sombre news in Europe -- the world's worst-hit region -- Britain eased curbs for the first time in months on Monday, allowing Britons to enjoy a taste of freedom with a pint and a haircut.
The changes illustrate how fast-vaccinating countries are leaving other -- mostly poorer -- nations behind.
In South Africa, the president called for African-made vaccines as the continent lags behind, struggling with inadequate supplies as well as a lack of financing and logistical problems.
"Africa needs to harness its own continental capabilities and identify opportunities for collaboration," Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa suggested India or Brazil could help after successfully developing their own generic pharmaceutical industries.
But both giants are battling severe Covid outbreaks, with India overtaking Brazil on Monday as the country with the second-highest number of infections after logging more than 168,000 new cases in a day.