Coronavirus infections in United States nears 2.6M as cases surge

Coronavirus infections in US nears 2.6M as cases surge

A health worker taking a swab sample for novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Mumbai, India, June 26, 2020.

The United States on Saturday surpassed 2.5 million coronavirus cases, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed, as the world's hardest-hit country grappled with a surge of infections in several states.

More than 10 million cases of the new coronavirus have been officially declared around the world, half of them in Europe and the United States, according to an AFP tally at 0930 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

The tension between reopening battered economies - efforts pushed in the U.S. by President Donald Trump - and public health is a source of debate in almost every country.

The pandemic has now entered a new phase, with India and Brazil battling outbreaks of over 10 000 cases a day, putting a major strain on resources.

The two countries accounted for over a third of all new cases in the past week.

In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has conceded there has been an "explosion" in new cases.

The rate of infections worldwide continues to rise, with one million new cases recorded in just six days. Between June 21 and 27 the region registered 408,401 new cases, compared with 253,624 in the U.S. and Canada and 121,824 in Europe. Young people frustrated by months of confinement have poured back to the state's beaches, boardwalks and bars, often without masks and seemingly unconcerned about social distancing. Bars are also closing.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered some areas to reinstate stay-at-home orders, while San Francisco announced a "pause" in its reopening.

Texas and Florida, which both have Republican governors who resisted prolonged lockdowns, have announced new restrictions on bars.

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