Coronavirus news live: Latest updates as vaccines make ‘good progress’, WHO says

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California has now passed New York City to become the epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic in the U.S. The total number of cases in the most populous U.S. state rose by 12,112 on Wednesday to a total of more than 421,000 – the largest increase in one day since the start of the pandemic. Deaths in California also set a one-day high, up 159, according to a Reuters count of county data.New York has by far recorded the highest death toll of any state in the United States with more than 32,000 deaths, with California in fourth place with more than 8,000 deaths.

If California were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for the total number of coronavirus cases behind the United States, Brazil, India and Russia alone. New York has more than 413,500 cases and adds an average of 700 new cases per day in July. In California, there are an average of 8,300 new cases per day.

The rapid increase in cases has made it difficult to track the pathogen’s path in the community through contact tracing, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly said Tuesday.

“No one was planning to create a contact program to track the number of cases we are seeing here,” he told a press conference.

Since its crush of cases earlier in the year, New York state has managed to bring the virus under control, reporting the fewest hospitalizations in four months on Monday and just two deaths on Tuesday.

Nearly 143,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 – almost a quarter of the global total.

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