WHO records new single-day high in global coronavirus cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 210,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus around the world on Saturday, marking a new high in infections over a 24-hour period.
Data from the agency showed that 211,411 cases of the virus were confirmed worldwide, representing a 20 percent increase from the previous day. The previous high in single-day infections was reported on June 28, when roughly 190,000 cases of the virus were confirmed globally.
As of Sunday, health officials had reported more than 11 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and roughly 530,000 deaths stemming from it worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
The U.S., Brazil and India are experiencing the most pronounced outbreaks right now. Cases have surged in many parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, causing some states to pause reopening plans and enforce orders compelling people to wear face masks in public.
The country reported more than 50,000 cases of the virus in a single day for the first time last Wednesday. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 57,718 new cases and 661 new deaths were reported on Saturday. Florida alone reported more than 11,000 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, a new record for the state.
The consistent uptick in cases has led to a more aggressive push from federal and state leaders for Americans to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing. While President Trump has downplayed the severity of the outbreak, leading health officials have said that the window is closing for the U.S. to thwart the virus’s spread.
“We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social distance. We need to wear our face coverings if we’re in settings where we can’t social distance, particularly in these hot zones,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said last week while addressing the upward trend in cases.
Outside of the U.S., Brazil has reported the most coronavirus cases of any nation in the world. The country had reported about 1.5 million virus cases and approximately 64,000 deaths as of Sunday. WHO data shows that it has reported more than 40,000 new virus cases for three consecutive days.
India has also experienced a rise in infections, reporting more than 24,800 confirmed cases on Saturday, according to the WHO. The figure marked a new high for the country, which has seen an upward trajectory in cases for weeks.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December before rapidly spreading around the world. The outbreak upended everyday life in dozens of countries, leading to strict stay-at-home orders and other quarantine measures.
Many parts of Europe and Asia have relaxed restrictions since the outset of the outbreak.
The WHO said in April that clinical trials had begun for three vaccines, with more than 70 in development. The agency is also conducting a global study into experimental treatments for COVID-19.
The agency announced on Saturday that it stopped trials of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug touted by Trump, and HIV treatment lopinavir-ritonavir after finding that they did not reduce mortality rates for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
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