US, Europe battle fresh virus surges | Daily News


 

US, Europe battle fresh virus surges

The US State of Texas was quick to begin reopening its economy. Here, bowlers pick up clean balls at the Westgate Lanes in Austin, Texas bowling alley.
The US State of Texas was quick to begin reopening its economy. Here, bowlers pick up clean balls at the Westgate Lanes in Austin, Texas bowling alley.

US: The United States on Thursday battled a resurgence of coronavirus cases in a number of states including Texas, while the World Health Organization warned that several European countries were also facing dangerous upticks.

The pandemic -- which has claimed more than 480,000 lives around the world -- continued to pummel Latin America. Brazil, the hardest-hit country in the region, had close to 55,000 deaths and 1.2 million infections, while Mexico on Thursday surpassed 25,000 fatalities.

In the United States, after hitting a two-month plateau, the rate of new cases is now soaring in the south and west, with the confirmed infection rate nearing levels last seen in April. Texas was among the most aggressive states in reopening in early June.

People arrive for the partial reopening of Eiffel Tower on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. - AFP

The United States recorded 37,667 cases and 692 deaths in 24 hours, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, with nearly 122,000 lives lost overall -- by far the highest toll in the world.

US health officials now believe based on antibody surveys that some 24 million people may have already been infected -- 10 times higher than the officially recorded figure of around 2.4 million. Norway, which has some of the most severe travel restrictions still in force, said Thursday it would aim to relax the measures with Schengen and EU nations by mid-July. And in Britain, some took the new relaxed regime too far, with thousands crowding the beach in the English coastal town of Bournemouth to soak up the sun.

The local council declared a major incident and said the beachgoers’ behavior had been “just shocking.”

The joyous reopening of tourist sites and beaches was nevertheless tempered by a new warning from the World Health Organization that Europe is not yet in the clear.

WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge warned that in 11 nations, “accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe.” Parts of Lisbon reinstated lockdown measures, following in the path of two western German districts.

However, Europe’s current caseload compares favorably with that of the Americas, with the US and Brazil continuing to lead the world in confirmed cases and deaths.

Governments are still struggling to balance the public health needs of fighting a virus that has infected at least 9.5 million people with the devastating global economic impact.

Iran’s death toll surpassed 10,000 on Thursday, with health officials recording more than 100 fatalities for the seventh consecutive day. China, where the disease was first detected late last year, meanwhile declared that it had controlled an outbreak in Beijing that had briefly raised fears of a second wave and prompted restrictions and several million tests.

- AFP


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