The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.
The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.
It’s the second time in a week new coronavirus cases reached record levels. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10.
According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, a total tally of close to 12.9 million cases were recorded worldwide by early on Monday, and 568,296 deaths.
The true infection rate is likely to be higher due to delays in reporting, different testing rates and suspected under-reporting in some countries.
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The US remains the hardest hit country in the world, with more than 3 million confirmed cases and 130,200 deaths at the time of writing. The WHO said on Sunday that more than 66,000 of the new cases were from the states.
The largest rise was seen in Florida, where at least 15,299 new Covid-19 cases were recorded – the highest number of new cases in a single day by any state since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The numbers come at the end of a grim week where Florida reported 514 fatalities, an average of 73 a day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths a day.
Across the country, more than half the states are dealing with increased rates of new cases compared to last week, according to CNN. Many have paused or rolled back their reopening plans to get the virus under control.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa also said on Sunday the country would immediately return to a ban of the sale of alcohol to reduce the number of trauma patients so hospitals have more beds to treat Covid-19 patients.
It is also reimposing a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and has made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks in public.
South Africa accounts for around 40% of all confirmed cases in Africa. Top health officials have warned of impending shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen, with the virus peak expected between the end of July and September.
According to WHO, global deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day. However, some countries have seen their daily numbers soar.
Mexico’s death toll surpassed Italy’s on Sunday. It now has the fourth highest number of fatalities worldwide behind the US, Brazil and the UK.
India’s coronavirus caseload is nearing 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 cases in the past 24 hours. The increase prompted authorities to announce a week-long lockdown in the southern technology hub of Bangalore.
In Spain, hundreds of thousands of Catalonia residents were ordered back into lockdown after cases spiked in the region.
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