HOUSTON (AP) – Hospitalizations and caseloads of coronavirus reached new highs in more than half a dozen states as signs of the virus’s flare-up, with recently confirmed infections across the country, almost back at the peak of two months ago.
After a six-week downward trend, the US caseload has been growing for more than a week, especially in the south and west. About 34,700 new cases were reported nationwide on Tuesday, according to the census tracked by Johns Hopkins University. The number was higher than any other day except April 9 and the record set date of April 24, when 36,400 cases were recorded.
While new cases have steadily declined in early U.S. hotspots like New York and New Jersey, several other states set one-day case records on Tuesday, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas. Some of them have also broken hospital admissions, as have North Carolina and South Carolina.
“The question of how we are doing as a nation is: we are not doing very well. How’s the state going? It’s not going so well, “said Dr. Jeffrey Smith, the county executive in Santa Clara County, California, home of Silicon Valley. In California, the most populous state, nearly 5,600 people have died from the virus.
There have also been cases in other parts of the world. 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.
But China appears to have tamed another outbreak in Beijing, again demonstrating its ability to quickly mobilize its massive resources by testing nearly 2.5 million people in 11 days.
In the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, tells Congress that the coming weeks will be critical to dampen the wave and that people should avoid crowds or at least wear masks.
Hours later, President Donald Trump gathered hundreds of young conservatives into a mega-church in Arizona, as the state reported a record 3,600 new infections.
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 has refused to wear a mask in public, making it a conservative versus liberal issue.
In China, an outbreak affecting 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 began testing people in and around the food markets, then expanded the initiative to restaurant staff and the city’s 100,000 delivery staff. China also said it used data to find people who had been near markets to test. It didn’t work out.
South Korea, which has tamed the first wave of infections, is seeing a new rise – this time in the Seoul region, where most South Koreans live. The authorities reported 51 cases on Wednesday. The country has reported 40 to 50 new cases per day in the past two weeks.
In India, with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, the capital of New Delhi is a growing concern, with the government criticizing the poor contact tracking and the lack of hospital beds. India has reported more than 450,000 cases of the virus, including more than 14,000 deaths.
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 conducted about half a million tests, or one for every 250 inhabitants.
In Europe, countries are easing restrictions and increasing as outbreaks develop. Slovenia has reintroduced mandatory use of face masks in public transport and other closed public spaces after cases have risen in recent days, while Belgium said theaters and swimming pools could be reopened next month. Infections have fallen in the past two months.
In Africa, John Nkengasong, chief of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the outbreak “is accelerating very rapidly,” with a sharp increase in the number of deaths and deaths as more countries lift the blocks. Africa has experienced nearly 325,000 cases and more than 8,600 deaths.
Worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins’ census, more than 9.2 million people have been infected and nearly half a million have died.
Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand, Moritsugu from Beijing. Reporters from Associated Press around the world contributed.
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