WHO Reports Record 3 Million New COVID-19 Cases in a Week

The World Health Organization says a record 2.8 million new COVID-19 cases have been reported globally over the past seven days ending Tuesday, including 40,000 new deaths.

The U.N. health agency says Europe accounts for the greatest proportion of reported new cases for the second consecutive week with more than 1.3 million, an increase of 33% compared to the previous week. The region accounted for nearly half of the new COVID-19 cases during the seven-day period.

The figures also show that cases are also increasing in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean and African regions, while declines continue to be reported in Southeast Asia. The Western Pacific region also showed a slight decline in new cases and deaths over the seven-day period.

WHO said the countries reporting the highest number of cases over the past week are India, the United States, France, Brazil and Britain — the same countries as the previous three weeks.

The virus has even affected operations at the U.N.’s main headquarters in New York. General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir canceled all in-person meetings Tuesday after five staffers with Niger’s mission to the world body tested positive for COVID-19.

The United States has posted a record 502,828 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, an average of more than 70,000 new cases. The previous record of 481,519 new cases was just recorded for the week ending October 24.

White House coronavirus task force member Admiral Brett Giroir said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show that the surge in the U.S. is not just due to more testing, contradicting President Donald Trump’s assertion that more testing has revealed more cases.

Giroir, who Trump put in charge of testing, said the proof of the increase in infections is more hospitalizations and COVID-19 deaths throughout the United States. The U.S. leads the world with more than 8.7 million total COVID-19 cases, including nearly 226,700 deaths, according to Hopkins statistics.

Giroir said the U.S. has reached “another critical point” in the response to the coronavirus crisis and urged people to wear masks, wash hands and engage in social distancing. He also said a safe and effective vaccine is “around the corner.”

The U.S. Midwest has experienced a high number of new COVID-19 cases, including in the state of Illinois, where Gov. J.B. Pritzker has imposed a new round of restrictions, particularly in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city. The governor on Tuesday announced a ban on all indoor service in bars and restaurants beginning Friday at midnight.

Farther west of Chicago, Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado, has ordered restaurants and other businesses to limit the number of patrons from 50% to 25%, as the state capital posted a one-day record of 327 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

Among the new U.S. cases is Justin Turner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, who was pulled from Tuesday’s World Series game against the Tampa Bay Rays after officials learned he had tested positive for the disease.

Turner was pulled late in the game before the Dodgers defeated the Rays 3 to 1 to win the league’s season-ending championship.

In the effort to develop a new coronavirus vaccine, U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer said its large, late-stage trial of its experimental vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech has not reached a key milestone, making it unlikely that it will be released before the upcoming November 3 U.S. presidential election.

The company said fewer than 32 COVID-19 infections among its 44,000 volunteers have occurred, a necessary benchmark to determine whether the drug is safe and effective.

Source: VOICE OF AMERICA