US tops six million coronavirus cases

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A woman holds her daughter near a hospital in Los Angeles, California. Photo: July 2020Image copyright

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The US recorded one million new coronavirus infections in less than a month

The US has now surpassed six million cases of Covid-19 – almost a quarter of the world’s total, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.

It said the country added one million new infections in less than a month. More than 183,000 people have now died.

In the UK, France and Spain, the infection rate dropped compared with Sunday’s figures – but the tallies may be readjusted later on.

It comes as children across Europe prepare to return to schools this week.

The total number of confirmed cases globally has now surpassed 25 million, with more than 846,000 Covid-19 related deaths. The true number of cases is likely to be significantly higher, because many people who have had the infection but did not show symptoms have not been tested.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the emergency authorisation of vaccines requires a “great deal of seriousness and reflection”.

The UN body’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said every country had the right to approve drugs without full trials, but it was “not something that you do lightly”.

The WHO says that 33 potential vaccines are currently up for clinical trials, and a further 143 are in pre-clinical evaluation.

What’s the latest from the US?

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported that there were now more than six million coronavirus cases across the US.

The university – which has been collecting US and global coronavirus data since the outbreak began late last year in China – reported the first infection in America on 21 January.

The country reached its one-million mark in 99 days, on 28 April, and 43 days after that the number of infections doubled.

Three million cases were confirmed within the next 28 days, rising to four million on 23 July, after only 15 additional days.

The five-million mark was surpassed in another 17 days and it took the US 22 more days to top six million infections.

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Media captionWhy the US struggled with its reopening

Although the number of daily cases has been declining in recent weeks, the US remains by far the world’s worst-hit nation in terms of the total number of cases and deaths.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been repeatedly criticised over its handling of the outbreak.

But White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the US was coping well with the pandemic.

“We are encouraged to see a drop in cases, deaths, hospitalisations,” she told reporters at a news briefing on Monday.

Ms McEnany said America had “one of the lowest case fatality rates in the world”, adding that “our therapeutics are working and saving lives”.

In other key developments around the world:

  • In the UK, the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,406 – down from Sunday’s figure of 1,715 new cases. Two more deaths were recorded
  • France reported 3,082 new infections, sharply down from a caseload of more than 5,000 on each of the two previous days
  • Spain registered more than 23,000 new coronavirus cases since Friday – suggesting the national infection rate has dropped slightly from a peak reached in the previous week
  • India’s economy shrank by 23.9% in the quarter ending June 2020, official data shows
  • In Australia, the state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s recent outbreak, reported 222 new cases – its lowest rise in infections since 18 July

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