As the new coronavirus pandemic rages on to take a heavy toll across the globe, the United States and India have registered their record daily jump in deaths and infections respectively over the past months.
Health officials in the US on Thursday recorded the highest daily jump of over 2,000 virus-related fatalities in three months, and said the total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at more than 4.8 million.
The US is the world’s worst-hit country, which has so far registered nearly 160,000 deaths as a result of the respiratory disease.
Health experts in the United States have forecast that nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from the flu-like pathogen by December.
India on Friday reported a record daily jump in coronavirus infections, taking its total confirmed cases to more than two million.
India’s Health Ministry registered more than 62,500 new cases and nearly 900 new deaths, taking its fatality rate to over 41, 500.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in late March.
Health officials in India said the surges are mostly related to rural areas, pointing the finger of blame at monsoon floods for hindering efforts to fight the pandemic.
India is now the hardest-hit country in Asia and the third country to surpass the two million mark after the United States and Brazil, which has had nearly three-million positive COVID-19 cases and almost 100, 000 deaths.
More than 19 million people have so far tested positive for the new coronavirus and over 714,000 others have lost their lives to the illness across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The following is the latest on the pandemic from some countries around the globe:
Mexico’s death toll tops 50,000
Mexico’s health ministry reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 deaths, bringing the South American country’s totals to 462,690 infections and 50,517 deaths.
Mexico now has the third-highest death toll in the world, after Brazil.
Australia’s Victoria reports 450 new cases
Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, has reported 11 coronavirus-related deaths and 450 new infections in the last 24 hours.
Victoria reported its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday with 15 deaths and a record daily rise of 725 cases.
Philippines records most cases in eastern Asia
The Philippines has recorded another jump in coronavirus cases, overtaking neighboring Indonesia as the country with the highest number of confirmed infections in the eastern part of Asia.
The Philippines recorded 3,561 new infections on Thursday, taking its total confirmed cases to 119,460. That is higher than Indonesia’s 118,753 infection cases.
The number of fatalities rose by 28 to 2,150, which is less than half of Indonesia’s 5,521 fatalities, but is expected to grow after the recent spike in cases.
A recent surge in cases of the virus in and around the capital Manila has pushed authorities to re-impose a lockdown affecting around a quarter of the country’s 107 million people.
Hong Kong to offer free testing for residents
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced on Friday that the city would offer free voluntary coronavirus testing for residents, as the global financial hub races to contain a resurgence of the virus over the past month.
“The situation in Hong Kong is still critical, with the number of cases remaining high,” Lam said, adding that the plan is likely to be implemented in two weeks at the earliest.
Almost 3,900 people have been infected in Hong Kong since January, 46 have lost their lives.
‘Vaccine nationalism’ cannot beat virus: WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned against “vaccine nationalism” on Thursday, saying that vaccine-hogging richer countries would not be safe coronavirus havens if poor nations remained exposed.
The organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it would be in wealthier countries’ interests to ensure that any vaccines produced to protect against the new coronavirus were shared globally.
“Vaccine nationalism is not good, it will not help us,” Tedros told the Aspen Security Forum in the United States, via video-link from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.
“For the world to recover faster, it has to recover together, because it’s a globalized world: the economies are intertwined. Part of the world or a few countries cannot be a safe haven and recover. The damage from COVID-19 could be less when those countries who… have the funding commit to this” he added.
Tedros stressed that the existence of the deadly respiratory disease anywhere put lives and livelihoods at risk everywhere.
“They are not giving charity to others: they are doing it for themselves, because when the rest of the world recovers and opens up, they also benefit,” he said.