Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase, as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak and multiple U.S. states see record rises.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday that a divided world has failed to rise to the challenge of fighting the pandemic, warning concerted action was needed to prevent millions of people being pushed into poverty and hunger.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic is a major global challenge for the entire international community, for multilateralism and for me, as secretary-general of the United Nations,’ Guterres told Portuguese news agency Lusa.
In the US, President Donald Trump called for a major economic stimulus package as infections surpassed eight million in America, with record spikes in several states.
Indiana’s daily average of new coronavirus infections continued growing at record levels with Saturday’s update from state health officials, who also added 31 more COVID-19 deaths to the state´s toll.
The state health department´s daily update showed Indiana´s seven-day rolling average of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections reached 1,799 as of Friday. That is the highest level the state has seen during the pandemic and has more than doubled over the past three weeks.
Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus remained near a record high in Oklahoma on Saturday while the number of reported cases increased by 1,195 and deaths rose by 14.
The department said that there were 8,272 new coronavirus cases during the week ending Thursday, an increase of 15 percent from the previous week, and 58 additional deaths from the previous week due to COVID-19.
Europe, which successfully tamped down the first surge of infections, has emerged as the new coronavirus epicenter in recent weeks and is reporting on average 140,000 cases a day over the past week.
As a region, Europe is reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined.
Of every 100 infections reported around the world, 34 were from European countries, according to a Reuters analysis.
The region is currently reporting a million new infections about every nine days and has reported more than 6.3 million cases since the pandemic began.
Major European countries – United Kingdom, France, Russia, Netherlands and Spain — accounted for about half of Europe’s new cases in the week to October 18, according to Reuters tally.
France is reporting the highest seven-day average of new cases in Europe with 19,425 infections per day followed by the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and Netherlands in worst affected European countries.
Several European countries are closing schools, cancelling elective surgeries and enlisting student medics as the authorities face a COVID-19 resurgence.
Russia is moving students to online learning and Northern Ireland is closing schools for two weeks and restaurants for four.
In Spain, authorities in Catalonia ordered bars and restaurants to close for 15 days and limited the numbers of people allowed in shops.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.