WHO reports record rise in global coronavirus cases

A record number of new coronavirus caseswas reported globally on Saturday with the United States, Brazil and India showing the biggest increases, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Worldwide, cases rose by 212,326 in 24 hours, the data showed, breaking the previous record of 190,566 set on June 28.

As July Fourth celebrations got into full swing, in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 57,718 daily new cases and 661 deaths on Saturday, taking the total to 2,789,678 cases and 129,305 deaths.

With 11,458 new cases of the virus reported Saturday, Florida shattered its single-day record for new coronavirus cases. It neared New York’s highest daily tally of 11,571 set in April, according to NBC Miami and the New York State Department of Health.

As the country is grappling with a rising number of cases, some states had to halt their re-openings and hospitals in hot spots are becoming overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump will be stepping back from being the “daily voice” of the coronavirus response, a senior administration official told NBC News. During a speech at Mount Rushmore to celebrate July 4th on Friday, he only briefly mentioned the virus, as the White House readies a new message for the nation on coronavirus: learn to live with it.

In Brazil, where the virus has been rampant, 37,923 new cases and 1,091 deaths were recorded Saturday, health officials said. The country has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the world at more than 1.5 million with a cumulative death toll of 64,265, according to the country’s health ministry.

Parishioners wearing protective face masks stand during a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday.Leo Correa / AP

Both Russia and Mexico reached grim milestones on Saturday, with the number of deaths in Russia topping 10,000 and the death toll in Mexico now at more than 30,300, overtaking France to become the fifth-highest in the world.

India reported a rise of 24,850 cases on Sunday, health officials in the country said. A total of 673,165 cases have now been reported in India, the fourth highest in the world.

Globally, more than 11 million coronavirus cases have been recorded and nearly 531,000 people have died so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The WHO has also announced on Saturday it will discontinue the use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by President Trump early in the pandemic, as a treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Interim trial results have shown that hydroxychloroquine produces “little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care,” the organization said.

Around the world lockdown restrictions continued to be eased, while some countries ramped up measures to prevent new outbreaks.

This weekend England relaxed most of its restrictions, opening up pubs, cafes, restaurants and hair salons. Despite authorities urging the public to maintain social distancing, in some places, including central London, many ignored the warnings.

Meanwhile, the Spanish northeastern region of Catalonia reimposed coronavirus restrictions, limiting movement of more than 200,000 people after an increase of infections.

On Saturday, Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia basilica reopened after almost four months of lockdown, giving frontline workers the chance to have the usually tourist-packed landmark to themselves in recognition of their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Spain was one of the worst affected countries in Europe, recording 28,385 coronavirus deaths.

In Australia, which has so far managed to contain the pandemic with just under 8,400 cases, authorities locked down around 3,000 people in nine apartment buildings in the southeast state of Victoria to try to stem a new outbreak after a rise in cases.

In addition to the complete lockdown orders, more than 30 Melbourne suburbs are also under strict social-distancing orders, but people there can leave their houses to go to work, school or to buy groceries.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani warned Saturday that Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, Reuters reported.

Iran was one of the early epicenters of the pandemic, and is still battling the spread of the virus, with the total number of cases hitting 240,438 on Sunday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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