No letup as global coronavirus cases pass 10m
Global infections from the novel coronavirus have surpassed 10 million as the rate of new cases surges.
One million new cases were recorded in only six days, just as countries start to unwind lockdowns that have devastated their economies and thrown millions out of work.
The worldwide death toll is also nearing 500,000. Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern in the coming months and into 2021.
The United States, the hardest hit country, has surpassed 2.5 million cases alone, as efforts to reopen the world’s economic powerhouse were set back by a jump in new infections in states such as Florida.
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has conceded there has been an “explosion” in new cases.
On Saturday alone the US recorded more than 43,000 new cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. US deaths now exceed 125,000, approximately one-quarter the world total of almost 499,000.
Infections are also up in some other parts of the world that have reopened, with Europe now registering over 2.6 million. The EU on Saturday pushed back a decision on a list of “safe countries” from which travelers can visit Europe — a list which could exclude the US.
European leaders were taking no chances, trying to tamp down new clusters. German authorities renewed a lockdown in a western region of about 500,000 people after about 1,300 slaughterhouse workers tested positive.
Britain’s government is pledging to support local officials in the central English city of Leicester amid reports that a spike in COVID-19 cases could prompt authorities to lock the city down. So far, Britain has not targeted a specific region for a lockdown.
Swiss authorities ordered 300 people into quarantine after a so-called “superspreader” outbreak of the new coronavirus at a Zurich nightclub. A man who had been at the Flamingo Club a week ago tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, and five others with him also tested positive.
The pandemic has now entered a new phase, with India and Brazil battling outbreaks of over 10,000 cases a day, putting a major strain on resources. The two countries accounted for over a third of all new cases in the past week, according to a Reuters tally.
In India, densely populated cities have been particularly hard hit. The country set a daily record on Saturday with 18,500 new cases and 385 deaths. Total infections are at 509,000, with more than 15,600 deaths.
The disease also continues to rampage through Latin America, with Peru topping 9,000 deaths on Saturday.
Brazil, the second hardest-hit country after the US, recorded 990 deaths on Saturday, the highest toll in the world that day, while Mexico recorded the second highest at 719.
In the Middle East, the governor of Bethlehem announced that the Palestinian city would temporarily close due to rising infections.
Iran, which has struggled to curb its outbreak even as it gradually lifted restrictions from April, has launched a mask-wearing campaign.
Russia on Sunday recorded 6,791 new coronavirus cases, bringing its confirmed infections to over 634,000, the third-highest number in the world.