Here’s what’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic around the world on July 5.
- P.E.I. now has five active cases after being free of COVID-19 since April 28.
- India reports another record 24-hour jump in coronavirus cases.
- Mexico overtakes France for 5th-highest death toll in the world.
- U.S. holiday weekend adds to virus worries as case counts grow.
- South Africa records more than 10,000 new cases in a day for 1st time.
- 1st glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July from immunity testing.
The United States has dipped under 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the July 4th Independence Day weekend will act like rocket fuel for the nation’s surging outbreak.
Johns Hopkins counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections in the U.S. on Saturday after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases. The lower figure on Saturday does not necessarily mean the situation in the U.S. is improving, as it could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.
In Florida, health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
State statistics released Sunday show about 10,000 new people tested positive. Saturday’s numbers — more than 11,400 cases — marked a record new single-day high. More than 3,700 people have died.
About 43 per cent of the cases are in three counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Sunday on ABC’s This Week that the high numbers of positive tests both in his county and the state are “extremely worrisome.”
Suarez, who had the virus in March, said it’s clear the growth is “exponential at this point,” and officials are closely monitoring hospitalizations. They’re also closely watching the death rate, which “give us the impression” that “much stricter” measures have to be taken.
In Arizona, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is pointing to a “crisis” involving coronavirus testing shortages in her city due to surging cases in the state, which leads the U.S. in new coronavirus cases per capita.
Gallego, a Democrat, said some residents over the weekend had to line up for eight hours by car to get COVID-19 tests and that the federal government has been slow to help.
AZ is still in a crisis with our battle against #COVID19. Every new case is someone’s loved one. With the highest daily new cases per capita in the country we must continue to take action to protect one another by #stayinghome and wearing a mask. #MaskUpAZ https://t.co/Gh1bs6Ycx5
She told This Week on Sunday that Arizona went from “zero to 60” by being one of the first states to reopen after it was among the last to implement stay-at-home orders.
That led to an explosion of cases, Gallego said, citing crowded nightclubs with free champagne and people unwittingly spreading the virus at large family gatherings.
She faults mixed public messaging after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Phoenix. Gallego said while she was urging people to stay at home and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, Trump undercut that by holding large events and not wearing a mask.
The U.S. has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases.
To show just how steep the current infection curve is in the U.S., the country was reporting under 20,000 new infections a day as recently as June 15.
Despite warnings by health experts to limit gatherings, Trump went ahead with a speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday and an evening of tribute and fireworks Saturday on the National Mall in Washington.
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
P.E.I. reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total active cases in the province to five.
Quebec reported an increase of 79 cases and eight deaths. The government says seven of those newly reported deaths took place before June 27.
In Ontario, the province reported 138 new cases, marking the sixth straight day the tally is below 200.
As of 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 105,536 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 69,239 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,729.
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Here’s what’s happening around the world
More than 11.3 million people around the world are known to have been infected since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University data. With shortages of testing materials, the real number of cases is unknown. More than 531,000 people have died.
In the Americas, Mexico overtook France for fifth-highest death toll in the world with more than 30,000 fatalities.
Brazil remains the epicentre in South America, with more than 1.5 million cases and more than 64,000 deaths.
In Bolivia, the rising death toll is overwhelming the city of Cochabamba. Police Col. Ivan Rojas told a news conference that the city is collecting “about 17 bodies a day. This is collapsing the police personnel and funeral workers” in the city of some 630,000 people.
In Asia-Pacific, India reported another record 24-hour jump in coronavirus cases, with more than 24,000 new infections.
The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria has recorded 74 new coronavirus cases after announcing a record 108 new infections on Saturday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said those who do not wear masks will be denied state services, and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week.
In Africa, a third head of state in the space of a week and a half is self-isolating after someone close to him tested positive for the coronavirus.
Ghana’s information ministry said President Nana Akufo-Addo has tested negative but decided to isolate himself “out of an abundance of caution.” Senegal’s President Macky Sall late last month isolated himself after a similar situation, and Botswana’s government on Thursday said President Mokgweetsi Masisi had gone into self-isolation yet again after a close official tested positive. This is the fourth time he has done so since March.
In South Africa, the country is for the first time reporting more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day. Officials have said beds in public hospitals are filling up, and nurses have expressed alarm.
In Europe, authorities in northwestern Spain have ordered a lockdown in Galicia — a county with a population of 71,000 — over new outbreaks, a day after authorities in northeast Catalonia locked down more than 200,000 people. Both lockdowns only allow people to leave the areas for work and other extenuating circumstances.
Slovenia says 15 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus at a nursing home for the first time in weeks as the country faces a spike in cases.
After five straight days of small increases, the number of day-to-day confirmed cases in Italy has dipped.