Saturday, 04 July 2020 09:02

Worldwide Coronavirus Cases Near 11 Million

Morris Copeland, of the Strategic Urban Response to Guideline Education group, center, passes out kits to be distributed to residents in COVID-19 hot spots, July 1, 2020, in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami.

As coronavirus cases neared 11 million worldwide Friday, the outbreak continued to surge in some countries, including the United States, where case numbers were rising in 40 out of 50 states.

Florida reported 9,488 new cases Friday, a day after setting a new daily record with more than 10,000 cases.

Florida said it had reached about 80% of its hospital intensive care unit capacity, while Arizona reported its level at 91%, a record.

President Donald Trump planned to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday for an early Independence Day celebration that thousands of people were expected to attend. Local officials said there are no plans for observing social distancing or mask wearing at the event. However, free masks will be available for those who want them.

Brazil is another country where coronavirus cases are rising, nearing 1.5 million. The nation has the world's second-largest outbreak after the United States.

On Friday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro approved a law requiring people to wear face masks on streets and on public transportation. However, he vetoed clauses that would have required wearing masks in enclosed spaces, including churches, schools and shops. The president, whom health experts have widely criticized for downplaying the severity of the virus, said such a move could violate property rights.

India reported nearly 21,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus Friday. The nation said Thursday that it had recorded about 100,000 cases in four days. Johns Hopkins University said Friday that the South Asian nation had more than 625,000 COVID-19 cases.

In Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced Friday that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus. Qureshi, who said he was quarantining at home with a “slight fever,” is the highest-ranking government official in Pakistan to contract the virus.

Australian officials said 10,000 people in the state of Victoria had refused to take the coronavirus test this week because they believed the outbreak was not real and was instead a “conspiracy theory.”

The New York Times reported that Australia, which has been successful in keeping COVID cases to a minimum, was now locking down an area of 300,000 people in a largely immigrant community in Victoria.

In England, pubs are planning to reopen Saturday for the first time in more than three months.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told voters not to be afraid to come out and cast ballots in the second round of the presidential election July 12.

Despite hundreds of new cases reported daily, Poland has been relatively successful in fending off COVID-19, with 1,500 deaths.

And in Mexico, a medical supply company has started using unmanned drones to deliver masks, gloves and other equipment to hospitals.

Doctors, nurses and other medical workers have staged nationwide protests against what they say is a shortage of protective equipment.

(VOA)

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