China tames new outbreaks, but virus cases are increasing elsewhere

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BEIJING (AP) – China appears to have tamed a new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, again demonstrating its ability to quickly mobilize massive resources by testing nearly 2.5 million people in 2.5 days.

But elsewhere in the world, there were many cases on Wednesday. India reported a record daily increase of nearly 16,000 new cases. Mexico, where test rates were low, also set a record with over 6,200 new cases.

In the US, the rises in recent days have almost reached the level of the previous peak of the April outbreak. Several states have set one-day records, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas.

In Arizona, which reported 3,600 new infections on Tuesday, hundreds of young conservatives packed a mega church to hear President Donald Trump’s call to support his reelection bid.

As he did during a demonstration in Oklahoma last weekend, Trump referred to the virus with a pejorative term aimed at its emergence in China.

Prior to the event, Phoenix Democratic Mayor Kate Gallego made it clear that she did not believe the speech could be held safely in her city – and urged the President to wear a face mask. He did not do that. Trump refused to wear a mask in public, but turned it into a red-against-blue cultural problem.

Earlier Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress that the coming weeks were critical to dampen the wave.

“Plan A, don’t go in a crowd. Plan B, if you do, make sure you wear a mask, ”said Fauci, the head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

In China, an outbreak that infected more than 200 people in the capital this month seemed to be on the wane. China reported 12 cases on Wednesday, compared to 22 the day before. Beijing reported seven new cases, compared to 13.

Beijing officials said they tested more than 2.4 million people between June 12-22. That is more than 10% of the population of the capital of about 20 million.

Authorities started testing people in food markets and in the areas around them. They expanded that to include everyone from restaurant staff to 100,000 city deliverers. China also said it used big data to find people who had been near markets to test, without specifying how.

The vast majority tested negative, although one courier delivering groceries from supermarkets tested positive.

A single inflatable mobile laboratory in a district was able to run 30,000 tests per day, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

South Korea, which has successfully tamed its first wave of infections, is on the rise again. While the first outbreak occurred in the fourth-largest city, the current outbreak is concentrated in the Seoul region, where most South Koreans live. The authorities reported 51 cases on Wednesday. The increase from 40 to 50 cases per day in the past two weeks is due to increased public activity and a decreased attitude towards social distance.

In India, with a population of more than 1.3 billion, the densely populated cities of Mumbai and New Delhi are most affected. The country has reported more than 450,000 cases of the virus, including more than 14,000 deaths.

The situation in New Delhi is increasingly worrisome, with the federal government criticizing the poor contact tracking and lack of hospital beds.

Mexico reported nearly 800 new deaths on Wednesday. The country has registered more than 190,000 cases and more than 23,000 deaths, although officials recognize that both are undercounts due to extremely low testing rates. Mexico has only performed about half a million tests, or about one in 250 residents.

More than 9.2 million people worldwide have contracted the virus, including more than 477,000 deaths, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.


Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand. Reporters from Associated Press around the world contributed.

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