WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The number of global coronavirus cases continued to rise on Tuesday in many major countries that lifted lock-ups, including the United States, even as new infections stabilized or declined in parts of Western Europe.
India registered about 15,000 new infections every day, and some states considered taking new measures on Tuesday to stop the virus’s spread of more than 1.3 billion in the country. The government previously lifted a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to relaunch the ailing economy, which has cut millions of jobs.
Hospitals in Pakistan are averting patients, but with the economy faltering, the government remains determined to reopen the country.
New cases have also risen sharply in Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia.
Brazil, with more than 1.1 million cases and 51,000 deaths, has been affected more than anywhere except the United States, which has reported more than 2.3 million cases and 120,000 deaths, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
In the United States, peaks in the south and west raise fears that progress against the virus is slipping, as states reopen and many Americans resist wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.
Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to Capitol Hill at a fraught moment in response from the country. The government’s top infectious disease expert will testify before a committee of the House.
His testimony comes after President Donald Trump said at a weekend meeting in Oklahoma that he asked government officials to delay testing because too many positive cases have surfaced.
Many rally-goers did not wear masks, and for some it was an act of defiance of what they perceive as government intrusion. White House officials later attempted to shrink Trump’s comment about testing, suggesting it was not intended to be taken literally.
Dr. World Health Organization chief Michael Ryan said the record number of new cases cannot be explained by more testing alone, noting that hospital admissions and deaths have increased sharply in many countries.
“The epidemic is now peaking or peaking in some major countries,” he said.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it took more than three months for the world to see 1 million confirmed infections, but only eight days to see the most recent 1 million cases.
“The biggest threat we are facing right now is not the virus itself; it’s the lack of global solidarity and global leadership, “he said during a video conference for the Dubai-based World Government Summit.
Even some countries that have initially been successful in eradicating the virus are reviving.
In Australia, the state of Victoria reported 17 new cases on Tuesday, resulting in the closure of two primary schools in Melbourne. State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said there would be significant community transfers among the new cases.
China reported 22 new cases, including 13 in Beijing, a day after a city government spokesman said containment measures had delayed the momentum of a new outbreak in the capital that has infected more than 200 people.
And South Korea reported 46 new cases, including 30 related to international arrivals.
The country is struggling to counter a virus flare-up in the Seoul metropolitan area, where hundreds of infections have been linked to entertainment and leisure activities, church gatherings, and low-income workers such as door-to-door sellers and warehouse workers he could not afford to stay at home.
South Korea also said it tested 176 workers in the southern port of Busan after a virus outbreak among crew members of a Russian freighter who has fallen ill 16 so far.
Saudi Arabia said that this year’s pilgrimage or hajj to the holy sites of Islam will not be canceled, but only “very limited numbers” of people will be allowed to participate. Hajj traditionally draws about 2 million Muslims from all over the world for five intense days of worship and ritual in Mecca.
More than 9 million people worldwide have been confirmed by the virus and more than 472,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s record. Experts say the actual numbers are much higher due to limited tests and cases where patients had no symptoms.
Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed.
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