The 3,056 additional infections reported on Thursday in Arizona were the fourth day of the week with an increase of more than 3,000. Transmissions soared following Republican Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to lift travel restrictions home in May.
Twenty-three percent of tests done in the state in the past seven days have been positive, almost triple the national average, and a record 415 patients were on respirators.
WATCH | Infectious disease specialist on the global response to COVID-19:
The numbers “continue to go in the wrong direction,” said Ducey, who confirmed that the state had postponed its reopening efforts.
He pushed back journalists’ questions about his stance on the use of masks and his presence in President Donald Trump’s election campaign held inside this week in a church in Phoenix. Among the 3,000 people present, many were not wearing face covers.
Mississippi announced a record 1,092 new cases of coronavirus, the second time this week that its daily number had reached new heights.
WATCH | States are preparing for the impact of the COVID-19 push:
The daily average has climbed more than 50 percent in the past two weeks, according to analysis by the Associated Press. The real numbers are probably much higher due to limited testing and other factors. Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on blood tests, estimated Thursday that 20 million Americans had been infected. This represents approximately 6% of the population and almost 10 times the 2.4 million confirmed cases.
The death toll has declined even though the number of infections has increased, perhaps reflecting better medical treatment and better efforts to prevent infections among the most vulnerable, such as residents of nursing homes. In the United States, an increasing proportion of cases involve younger people, who are more likely than their elders to survive a COVID-19 attack.
“It is still serious,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “we are in a different situation from what we were in March or April.”
What is happening with COVID-19 in Canada
As of 8:45 a.m. EST on Friday, Canada had 102,622 confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus. The provinces and territories have listed 65,425 cases as having been recovered or resolved. A count of CBC News deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC reports is 8,552.
In Europe, the manager of SpainCOVID-19’s response indicates that imported infections are a growing concern as the continent prepares to receive more visitors.
Epidemiologist Fernando Simon said Thursday that 54 people who contracted the disease last week were related to visitors who recently arrived in Spain. He suggested that controls should be tight and regional and local governments should be prepared to apply local isolation to avoid spreading the disease.
In Great BritainHealth Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the government has the power to close beaches and other public spaces amid mounting concerns over public acceptance of the rules for physical distancing.
The huge crowd on the English beaches on Thursday caused concern. Trash cans overflowed, additional police were called, and rural roads blocked by bathers now have signs indicating that the area is full.
Hancock told TalkRadio that he was “reluctant” to close public spaces because “people have had a fairly difficult lockdown.” However, he said, “we will take action” if there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
Watch | Massive crowds ignoring the rules of physical distance flock to the beaches of the United Kingdom:
Meanwhile, SwedenAnders Tegnell chief epidemiologist went wild at the World Health Organization on Friday, calling it a “total mistake” to put his country on a list of countries where “accelerated transmission” could overwhelm health systems . “Unfortunately, this is a total error in judgment of the Swedish data,” Tegnell told Swedish radio.
The WHO European Office report on Thursday cited 11 countries, including Sweden, Armenia, Albania, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Sweden has seen a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, but this has been attributed to an increase in testing.
In Asia, the virus has returned. In China, where the pandemic started in December, authorities have mobilized resources for mass testing and locked up parts of Beijing this month due to an epidemic that has infected 260 people. The 11 new cases reported on Friday in the capital continued their downward trend, suggesting that transmissions have been largely contained.
In Japanauthorities recorded more than 100 new infections on Friday. This is the first time the country has posted such high figures since May 9.
Meanwhile, India On Friday, nearly half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 followed its highest peak in 24 hours with 17,296 new infections, delaying the resumption of scheduled rail service by more than a month.
The new cases brought India’s total to 490,401. The Ministry of Health also reported an additional 407 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 15,301.
At the same time, other countries with large populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappling with big files and strained health care systems. The world’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia, registered 50,000 cases on Thursday, with at least 2,620 deaths, the highest number of cases and deaths in Southeast Asia. This represents only two positive cases in early March.
A return of the virus also erases hard-won gains South Korea, which on Friday reported 39 newly confirmed cases, mainly in the densely populated area that escaped the worst of the country’s epidemic in February and March. There are critics that authorities concerned about a fragile economy have been too quick to loosen physical distance guidelines and reopen schools in May.
In Africa, an epidemic of diarrhea has killed nine out of more than 1,500 people in the past month in Zimbabweis the second largest city, highlighting the problems of a weakened public health system struggling with the increase in COVID-19 cases.
At the same time, South Africa – which accounts for about half of infections on the continent with 118,375 – has reported a record number of 6,579 new cases, while transmissions are increasing after releasing what had been one of the strictest bans in the world at the start of the month.