The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, up by 284,196 in 24 hours, with the United States and Brazil accounting for almost half the total.
Deaths from Covid-19 rose by 9,753, the biggest one-day increase since a record high of 9,797 deaths on April 30.
The previous WHO record for new cases was 259,848 on July 18.
The WHO reported 69,641 new cases in the United States, 67,860 in Brazil, 49,310 in India and 13,104 in South Africa. The largest increases in new deaths were 3,876 in Peru, 1,284 in Brazil, 1,074 in the United States, 790 in Mexico and 740 in India.
Peru recently reviewed its Covid-19 data and in one day increased its total death toll by 3,000 to a total of over 17,000 fatalities.
India on July 17 became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the United States and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.
Cases in Brazil crossed the 2 million mark on July 16, doubling in less than a month as the country adds nearly 40,000 new cases a day. A patchwork of state and city responses has held up poorly in Brazil, in the absence of a tightly coordinated policy from the federal government.
The United States, which leads the world with over 4 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local level, with only limited success.
France steps up border controls
The WHO has expressed concern over the resurgence of coronavirus cases on the European continent, saying countries should impose tighter restrictions if necessary.
The number of infections in Europe crossed three million on Thursday, a fifth of the world’s cases. It remains the hardest hit continent in terms of deaths.
In France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on-the-spot tests for travellers visiting from 16 high-risk countries including the United States. The tests will be for French citizens and residents only, as France has not yet resumed general travel to and from these countries.
The new measures come amid signs that the rate of infection is accelerating again in France more than two months into the country’s gradual exit from lockdown.
On Friday, the health ministry said the number of confirmed cases had risen by 1,130 over 24 hours. It was the second consecutive day that new cases exceeded 1,000.
The ministry, in a statement, said the figures showed the need for people not to lower their guard while the virus continues to circulate.
“We have cancelled out much of the progress accomplished during the first weeks of exit from lockdown,” the ministry said, citing reports that some people who test positive for the virus fail to self-isolate.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)