Medical staff wait in an Airbus A400M prior to an evacuation of patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to hospitals of French West Indies, at Guiana air-base 367 in Matoury, near Cayenne, in the French overseas department of Guiana, on June 28, 2020.
AFP/Jody Amiet
Global virus infections top 10 million
AFP bureaux (Agence France-Presse) - June 29, 2020 - 7:38am

PARIS, France — Global infections from the novel coronavirus passed 10 million Sunday, an AFP tally showed, as California ordered bars in LA and some other parts of the state to quell a surge in cases there.

One million new infections were recorded in just six days, according to the count based on official sources, even as countries were loosening punishing lockdowns that have devastated their economies and thrown millions out of work.

The worldwide death toll from the disease that first emerged in China six months ago is also nearing 500,000 as fears grow of a full-blown second wave. The rate of contagion has doubled since May 21.

The United States, the hardest-hit country, has more than 2.5 million cases alone, and efforts to reopen the world's economic powerhouse were set back by a jump in new infections in big states such as Florida and California.

President Donald Trump was under growing pressure to set an example by wearing a facemask as his health secretary warned the "window is closing" for the country to gain control of the pandemic.

The disease is also rampaging through Latin America, where Brazil has over 1.3 million cases alone.

Infections are up too in other parts of the world that have reopened, with Europe still registering the biggest caseload at over 2.6 million, although daily rates have stabilised.

'Severe and complicated'

The US state of California was the latest authority to reimpose restrictions, ordering bars in Los Angeles and six other Californian counties closed because the rising number of cases.

The governor had already ordered some areas to reinstate stay-at-home orders, while San Francisco announced a "pause" in its reopening.

In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis conceded there had been an "explosion" in new cases as the "Sunshine State" notched a record 9,585 cases in 24 hours.

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.

Miami announced beaches would close over the July 4 holiday weekend and bars are also shutting their doors.

New coronavirus cases have been surging in more than half of US states, reaching record highs.

Several countries have also imposed new restrictions to counter fresh outbreaks.

China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding Beijing to contain a fresh cluster.

Beijing official Xu Hejian described the situation as "severe and complicated," saying the city needed to continue tracing the spread of the virus.

Britain's government warned it might have to shut down the central English city of Leicester and its population of 340,000 because of a spike in cases. Media reports said were linked to fresh outbreaks at food production plants.

But the government still plans a July 4 re-opening of pubs, restaurants and hairdressers across England, despite warnings from some medical experts of a second wave in what is Europe's worst-hit country, with more than 43,000 deaths.

'Very serious situation'

The tension between reopening battered economies — efforts pushed in the US by Trump — and public health concerns is a source of debate in nearly every country.

US deaths now exceed 125,000, about a quarter of the world total.

"This is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on CNN.

The EU has pushed back a decision on a list of "safe countries" from which travellers can visit Europe — a list which could exclude the US.

With Trump struggling to get his re-election bid off the ground ahead of the November vote, the campaign confirmed that planned events featuring Vice President Mike Pence in Arizona and Florida next week had been postponed "out of an abundance of caution".

Texas — among the first US states to reopen — also shut down its bars after the governor conceded he had allowed them to get back to business too soon.

Infections are also running higher in India, with densely populated cities particularly hard hit.

Although a nationwide lockdown is gradually being eased, the country set a daily record Saturday with 18,500 new cases and 385 deaths. Total infections are at 509,000, with more than 15,600 deaths.

Iran, which has struggled to curb its outbreak even as it gradually lifted restrictions from April, said it would make mask-wearing mandatory in certain areas from next week. 

Many global events have had to be curtailed because of the pandemic, with the 50th anniversary of the first Gay Pride march marked mostly online.

The virus has also disrupted world sports.

But football matches have resumed in Brazil, despite the objections of two clubs, Botafogo and Fluminense, who lost a court battle to stop the return to the pitch.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 10, 2020 - 4:54pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

July 10, 2020 - 4:54pm

The Department of Health reports 1,233 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines to 52,914.

There are 286 new recoveries and 42 more deaths. 

July 10, 2020 - 1:57pm

The Department of Foreign Affairs initiates coordination and exchanges of information with different jurisdictions across the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa and Middle East about COVID-19 vaccine developments.

"Based on the gathered information by the Department, collaboration with Philippine subsidiaries of vaccine developers, engagement with those overseas for conduct of clinical trials, utilization of multilateral efforts to ensure vaccine access, and bilateral cooperation are key efforts that must be pursued to ensure that a viable vaccine can be made available and accessible for Filipinos," the DFA says in a statement.

July 10, 2020 - 9:25am

The US posts 65,551 new coronavirus cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country, the hardest-hit in the world by the pandemic, has a total caseload of more than 3.1 million, with 133,195 deaths. 

The previous daily record was Tuesday, with more than 60,200 cases in one day. — AFP

July 10, 2020 - 7:20am

Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez announced on Thursday that she has tested positive for coronavirus.

"I've tested positive for COVID-19, I'm fine, I will work from isolation," she tweeted.

The 53-year-old said in a video on Twitter that she would remain in quarantine for 14 days before taking another test. — AFP

July 10, 2020 - 7:19am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 550,910 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 12,123,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,461,200 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

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