Countries report record increase in cases as US faces death toll projection

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Record daily spikes in coronavirus cases have been reported in several countries after social distancing measures were relaxed, days after the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a strict projection that the U.S. death toll could climb to 180,000 Americans by the end. month.

In Japan, the number of new coronavirus cases exceeded 1,500 for the first time since the pandemic began in February. The capital Tokyo on Saturday reported an increase of 472 cases, a new record, the country’s health officials said.

The Philippines also reported its biggest single-day jump on record with 4,963 new infections recorded. This brought the total number of reported cases in the country to more than 98,000, making the Philippines second behind Indonesia for deaths and coronavirus cases in Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday ordered his coronavirus task force to address concerns of more than a million doctors and nurses who have called for the re-launch of strict lockdown measures after a third day of record infections .

Meanwhile, health workers have said they are losing the fight against COVID-19 and have warned of a health system collapse due to the spike in infections without tighter controls.

Vietnam’s health ministry also warned on Saturday up to 800,000 visitors to the tourism hot spot that Danang had left for other parts of the country since July 1, raising concerns about the spread of the disease. disease. Last week, the country detected its first locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in more than three months on the city’s east coast.

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Meanwhile, in Europe, Poland reported its highest number of new cases on Saturday for a third day in a row with 658 new cases. The country’s health ministry said weddings were partly to blame for the rise and the prime minister this week has not ruled out tightening restrictions if the situation worsens.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed a planned easing of lockdown measures in England on Friday after an increase in infections amplified fears of a deadly second wave.

Just hours after Britain imposed tougher measures on parts of northern England, Johnson announced that casinos, bowling alleys and ice rinks, which were due to reopen on Saturday, would remain closed for at at least two more weeks.

“We are now seeing an indicator light on the scoreboard,” Johnson said at an online press conference. “Our assessment is that we should now step on that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control. “

The abrupt halt to the unfolding was the biggest reversal to date in England’s path out of lockdown.

Cases in Germany and Russia also increased on Friday.

In the United States, the death toll rose to 154,391 on Friday, according to an NBC News tally. While Florida, California and Texas all saw big increases in July.

Despite the grim numbers, infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci said on Friday he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine in the United States could prove effective “in late fall or early. of winter “.

Rays of hope have emerged elsewhere, with Egypt reporting its lowest number of new cases since May on Friday.

Egypt reopened its resorts to foreign tourists on July 1, but like the United States, it has yet to be on a “safe list” of countries for resuming non-essential travel to the European Union .

Reuters contributed to this report.

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