Wednesday, 15 July 2020

WHO marks another single-day record uptick in COVID-19 cases

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported more than 183,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, 21 June, the largest single-day increase in caseload count within 24 hours to date. Experts attribute the massive surge to various factors, including broader infection as well as intensified testing.

In total, the UN health agency has reported 8,708,008 cases, with 183,020 recorded in the previous day alone. Deaths worldwide have reached 461,715, of which 4,743 were new in the past 24 hours. More than two-third of those new deaths were recorded in the Americas.

The United States continues to have the highest number of reported infections, with over 2.2 million cases and about 120,000 fatalities. That number, unfortunately, continues to grow at a rapid pace. President Donald Trump said that the US had conducted tests on 25 million people, but the “bad part” is that it led to more recorded cases.

“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please,’” Trump said at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said that the comment was made in a “light mood” and that Trump was being “tongue-in-cheek”.

The surge is happening not only in the US. Brazil, South Africa and many Latin American countries have all been seeing an upward trend in caseloads.

South Africa’s nearly 5,000 cases reported Saturday, 20 June, has so far been the country’s highest record in one day. The grim milestone, however, has not stopped President Cyril Ramaphosa from announcing a further easing of one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

Brazil’s caseload had over 50,000 new infections in one day, according to health officials. President Jair Bolsonaro has been consistent in downplaying the risks of the disease, even though his country has the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths globally at nearly 50,000.

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