US records 54,879 Covid-19 cases in last 24 hours
The United States reported nearly 55,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the largest daily increase any country has ever reported, according to a Reuters tally.
A surge in coronavirus cases across the United States over the past week has put President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis under the microscope and led several governors to halt plans to reopen their states after strict lockdowns.
The daily US tally stood at 54,879 late Thursday, topping the previous single day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.
Just two weeks ago, the United States was reporting about 22,000 new cases a day. It has now reported more than 40,000 cases for seven straight days and broken records for new cases three days in a row, according to the tally.
New infections rose in 37 out of 50 US states in the past 14 days compared with the two weeks prior in early June, according to a Reuters analysis.
Florida reported the biggest increase of any state so far on Thursday, recording over 10,000 new cases in a single day. With 21 million residents, the state has reported more new daily coronavirus cases than any European country had at the height of their outbreaks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned earlier this week the daily increase in new US cases could reach 100,000 without nationwide measures to slow the rate.
While testing rates have increased, so has the percentage of positive results. Hospitalizations have also skyrocketed.
Nationally, 7% of coronavirus diagnostic tests came back positive last week, up from 5% the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis. Arizona’s positivity test rate was 24% last week, Florida’s was 16%. Nevada, South Carolina and Texas were all at 15%, the analysis found.
More than 30 people were injured, including 10 seriously, on Friday in a "tornado" which hit the western German city of Paderborn, a police spokesman told AFP. The tornado also caused significant damage in the city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state and followed abnormally high temperatures for the time of year.
Massive opposition to the army’s takeover has evolved into what some U.N. experts characterize as a civil war. The new armed rebel groups opposed to the takeover have allied themselves with some of the major ethnic minority guerrilla organizations, stretching the military's resources. Offering generous peace terms to the ethnic groups could shake the anti-government alliances.
Canada announced Friday a ban on trade in luxury goods with Russia, and added 14 more Russian oligarchs and other associates of President Vladimir Putin to its sanctions list imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. The ban aligns with similar measures imposed by allies such as the United States and the European Union, and "will help to mitigate the potential for Russian oligarchs to circumvent restrictions in other luxury goods markets," the government said.
The UN human rights Michelle Bachelet's six-day China visit -- the first since 2005 -- beginning Monday will include a trip to the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang, where China has been accused of human rights violations. Bachelet will be in China between May 23 and 28 during which she will visit Urumqi and Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the southern province of Guangzhou.
Russian supply of natural gas to Finland will be cut on Saturday morning, Finnish and Russian energy companies said Friday, after the Nordic country refused to pay supplier Gazprom in rubles. Gazprom Export, the exporting arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, said it had not received payment for gas supplied in April and would therefore halt deliveries from Saturday. Gazprom Export said it would defend its interests in court by any "means available".