NEW YORK: The US notched more than 52,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours Wednesday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed, a new one-day record as infections surge around the country.
The Baltimore-based university’s tracker showed 52,898 more cases as of 8:30 pm (0030 Thursday GMT), bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the United States to 2’682,270. The university also recorded a further 706 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 128,028.
New daily case numbers have hovered around 40,000 in recent days, with Johns Hopkins recording 42,528 new infections one day earlier. Hospitalizations are also increasing in several cities, including Houston, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. On Wednesday Texas broke its daily record and reported 8,076 new cases of COVID-19, nearly 1,000 more than the day before.
The surge in cases has seen several states pause their reopenings. California on Wednesday banned indoor dining in Los Angeles as well as service in bars, cinemas and museums for at least three weeks. The governor of Michigan also closed bars in the northern state, while Oregon and Pennsylvania have fallen in with other states making it compulsory to wear masks, a highly politicized issue in the country.
“During a heavy travel season, the absence of a strong national response, including a nationwide masking mandate, will continue to threaten the viability of our economy and the ability of our schools to reopen in the fall,” warned David Rubin, director of PolicyLab, a research center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump, who has yet to be seen in public wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic, said Wednesday he would have “no problem” doing so, while reiterating his belief that the contagion will just “disappear.” The European Union decided to extend a ban on travellers from certain countries which still have rising cases of COVID-19.
As the coronavirus graph goes down across the continent and it slowly opens its doors to tourists, people from Brazil have been barred from entering Europe. But citizens of Uruguay, a country of just three million people that shares its border with Brazil, can now travel to the EU countries.