India reports 55,000 new virus cases as Japan sees spike in young adult patients

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NEW DELHI – India reported nearly 55,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday and Japan recorded more than 1,500 for a second day, as Florida braced for a tropical storm that threatened to hamper efforts to combat disease. A curfew has been imposed on Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, following a spike in infections.

The US, India and South Africa struggle to contain their first wave of infections, while South Korea and other countries where the disease has eased try to avoid a second wave in order to curb travel and trade.

Governments around the world have reported 684,075 deaths and 17.8 million cases, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

India’s 54,735 new cases were down from the previous day’s record, 57,118, but brought the total to 1.75 million. The month of July accounted for more than 1.1 million of these cases.

The major cities of New Delhi and Mumbai may have passed their peaks, government expert Randeep Guleria said. Subways, cinemas and other public facilities are closed until August 31.

The Philippines reported 5,032 new cases, bringing the total to 103,185, with 2,059 deaths.

Leaders of Philippine medical organizations on Saturday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to reimpose a lockdown on the capital, Manila. They said the healthcare system was at risk as staff fell ill or quit due to fear or fatigue.

In Japan, the government reported 1,540 new cases, near Friday’s record of 1,579 cases.

The surge in infections, mostly in their 20s and 30s, has prompted young people to let their guard down. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who accounts for about a third of new infections, says she could declare an emergency to contain the outbreak.

In Florida, authorities were attempting to prepare storm shelters while increasing social distancing as Tropical Storm Isaias moved into the heavily populated state. He must have been near the coast by early Sunday.

Florida reported 179 deaths on Saturday, bringing its total to more than 7,000.

The governor has warned residents to expect power outages and said they should have a week’s supply of water and food.

The United States has the most cases in the world with 4.6 million, or a quarter of the total, and 154,361 deaths.

In Australia, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews of the southern state of Victoria announced a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in Melbourne, a city of 5 million people. Schools statewide must return to home schooling, and daycare centers have been closed.

Andrews said there have been seven deaths and 671 new cases since Saturday.

“If we don’t make these changes, we’re not going to get away with it,” Andrews said.

Also on Sunday, China and South Korea reported more infections, but peaks in both countries appeared to be easing.

China has registered 49 new confirmed cases, up from 45 the day before. Thirty were in Xinjiang, in the northwest, where authorities are trying to contain an epidemic focused on the regional capital, Urumqi.

Three cases were found among students returning from Russia in Wuhan, the southern city where the pandemic began in December. Most of the disease checks were lifted there after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the disease in March.

Hong Kong reported 125 new infections as authorities tried to find the source of its latest outbreak. The Chinese government said a team of seven virus testing experts had been sent to the city to help.

South Korea reported 30 new cases, bringing its total to 14,366 with 301 deaths, but said only eight have been contracted in the country.

The government has warned that the number of earlier cases will increase as South Koreans return from the Middle East and other places with outbreaks. Authorities say cases from overseas are less threatening as arrivals are quarantined for two weeks.

On Saturday, the head of a Korean secret church was arrested as part of an investigation into whether the group had hampered the anti-virus response after thousands of worshipers were infected in February and March.

South Africa reported 10,107 new cases on Saturday, bringing its total to 503,290.

This places the country fifth behind the United States, Brazil, Russia and India in total, although its population of 58 million is much smaller than theirs.

In Europe, the number of new cases reported in Italy fell below 300 for the first time.

An employee of the Austrian chancellery tested positive for the virus but did not work directly with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian news agency reported.

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McDonald reported from Beijing. AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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