Story at a glance

  • The global confirmed case count for COVID-19 hit a record high of more than 30 million.
  • The U.S. leads the world in cases.

The total number of coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 30 million on Thursday, signaling an increase in global cases despite public health practices aimed at curbing the spread. 

Leading the world is the U.S., with cases, followed by India and Brazil. The U.S. also leads the world in coronavirus-related fatalities, growing closer to 198,000 this week.

This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) flagged the spread of the virus in Europe as growing worse than in March, when the pandemic first began.


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WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said that this burgeoning spread should “serve as a wake-up call.”

“In the spring and early summer we were able to see the impact of strict lockdown measures. Our efforts, our sacrifices, paid off. In June cases hit an all-time low,” Kluge said on Thursday. “The September case numbers, however, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

The continent reported 300,000 cases over the course of one week, the highest seven-day total seen since the onset of the pandemic. 

“We have a very serious situation unfolding before us,” Kluge said. “Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March.”


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Meanwhile, cases likewise continue to grow in the U.S., with a CNBC analysis reporting a 5 percentage point increase in COVID-19 infections across 11 states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called this rise “disturbing.”

Outside of the uptick seen in those 11 states, cases across the U.S. have been declining on average — likely due to the widespread adoption of wearing masks in public. The forthcoming fall and winter, however, have been cause for concern as influenza season is expected to coincide with the pandemic.


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Published on Sep 17, 2020