United States coronavirus cases reach biggest single-day increase of pandemic

People prepare to go tubing on Salt River amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in Arizona Saturday

People prepare to go tubing on Salt River amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in Arizona Saturday

One million new cases were recorded in only six days, according to the AFP count, just as countries start to unwind punishing lockdowns that have devastated their economies and thrown millions out of work.

Underscoring the worsening spread of the virus, Florida on Saturday morning reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours, marking a record high for a second day, and 24 additional deaths from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Adding to the downbeat atmosphere on Thursday, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George said COVID infection surges will remain a threat to the economy until we have a vaccine.

The virus is blamed for more than 125,000 deaths and over 2.5 million confirmed infections nationwide in the USA, by Johns Hopkins' count.

Across the Atlantic, the European Union on Saturday pushed back a decision on a list of "safe countries" from which travellers can visit Europe - a list which could exclude the US.

In India, densely populated cities have been particularly hard hit. India reported more than 18,000 new cases, pushing its cumulative total over the half-million mark, the fourth-highest globally behind the US, Brazil and Russian Federation. Some experts have expressed doubt that deaths will return to that level because of advances in treatment and because many infections are happening in younger adults, who are more likely than older ones to survive.

Iran, which has struggled to curb its outbreak even as it gradually lifted restrictions from April, has launched a mask-wearing campaign.

U.S. deaths now exceed 125,000, approximately one-fourth the world total of over 495,000.

In Texas there were 5,996 new cases on Thursday and Republican Governor Greg Abbott put off lifting restrictions while placing a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space.

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On Wednesday, Alabama reported 1,1129 new cases, and Nevada reported 497 new cases.

In Florida, DeSantis reported although the median age for all those infected with the virus in March was in the 60s, in the previous two to a few weeks it is dropped to people today in their early 30s.

"The closure can be extended if conditions do not improve and people do not follow the new normal rules that require masks to always be worn inside commercial establishments and outdoors when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible", said Giménez to Floridians in a statement Friday.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez announced that all of his county's beaches will be closed July 3-7, and possibly longer.

Trump had faced a backlash after insisting on a rally in Oklahoma a week ago despite virus concerns. On Friday, San Francisco announced it was delaying plans to reopen zoos, museums, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and other businesses on Monday, citing a spike in new cases.

Texas had been at the forefront of states peeling away restrictions created to control the pandemic.

"If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting", Abbott told the KVIA news station in El Paso.

Global events have had to be curtailed because of the virus.

The virus has thrown world sports into turmoil.

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