Virus taking stronger hold in U.S., other populous nations

Keeping safe: A teacher screening students at a school in Langa township in Cape Town, South Africa.

Keeping safe: A teacher screening students at a school in Langa township in Cape Town, South Africa.   | Photo Credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS

S. Africa, Pak., Indonesia grapple with increasing caseloads

While China moved closer to containing a fresh outbreak in Beijing, the COVID-19 pandemic took a stronger hold elsewhere, including the U.S., where surging infections across southern states have highlighted the risks of reopening economies without effective treatment or vaccines.

Another record daily increase in India on Friday pushed the country’s case load toward half a million, and other countries with big populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with large case loads and strained health care systems.

South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with 1,18,375, reported a record 6,579 new cases, as transmissions increase after it loosened what had been one of the world’s strictest lockdowns earlier this month.

Mexico reported some of its highest 24-hour counts so far with 6,104 new cases and 736 additional deaths, as its treasury secretary began isolating at home after a positive test.

Mass testing in Beijing

In China, where the pandemic originated in December, authorities have mobilised resources for mass testing and locked down parts of Beijing this month due to an outbreak that has infected 260 people. The 11 new cases reported in the capital on Friday continued a downward trend that suggests transmissions have been largely brought under control.

The U.S., which counts the most infections in the world, is seeing daily jumps in COVID-19 cases nearing the peak reached in late April.

Arizona’s 3,056 additional infections reported Thursday was the fourth day in a week with a increase over 3,000. Transmissions have spiked following Republican Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to lift stay-home restrictions in May.

The numbers “continue to go in the wrong direction,” said Mr. Ducey, who confirmed that the State has postponed further efforts to reopen.

The U.S. reported 34,500 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Deaths tolls have dropped even as the number of infections have increased, possibly reflecting better medical treatments and better efforts to prevent infections among the most vulnerable, like nursing home residents.

Japan’s capital, Tokyo, confirmed 54 new cases, continuing a steady rise in cases. Governor Yuriko Koike has downplayed fears about a major surge that would overwhelm the city’s hospitals.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 4:24:21 PM |

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