The United States was dealing with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world on Monday, when Florida broke the national record for the largest single-day increase in the state in new confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, two experts from the World Health Organization went to China on a mission to trace the origin of the pandemic. The virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan in central China late last year. Beijing had been reluctant to allow an investigation, but relented after dozens of countries asked WHO to conduct a thorough investigation.
Deaths from the virus have increased in the US, especially in the south and west, although they are still well below the figures reached in April, according to a recent analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University Associated Press.
“I really believe that we could control this, and it is the human element that is so critical. It should be an effort by our country. We should be working together when we are in a crisis, and we definitely are not doing it.” the University of Florida, Dr. Cindy Prins.
Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus special force, called wearing masks in public, which has met resistance in some states in the United States, “absolutely essential.”
Giroir, assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told ABC This Week on Sunday that “if we don’t have that, we won’t be in control of the virus.”
President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time on Saturday, something the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said on Sunday that showed she “crossed a bridge.”
Pelosi told CNN’s State of the Union that he hopes it means that the president “will change his attitude, which will be useful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”
In Florida, where parts of Walt Disney World reopened on Saturday, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded, according to state Department of Health statistics reported Sunday.
California held the previous record for daily positive cases, 11,694, set on Wednesday.
The numbers reach the end of a record week as Florida reported 514 deaths, an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state averaged 30 deaths per day.
The researchers expect deaths to rise in the US for at least a few weeks, but some think the count likely won’t increase as dramatically as it did in the spring due to various factors, including increased testing.
Regarding the WHO experts in China, the country’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said they would work with Chinese scientists and medical experts in “scientific cooperation on the new coronavirus tracking problem.”
China has argued that the virus could have originated outside of China and has angrily denied accusations that it covered up the magnitude of the outbreak when the infections began to spread.
Trump harshly criticized the WHO for its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of bowing to Chinese influence. The Trump administration formally notified the UN last week of its withdrawal from the WHO, although the withdrawal will not take effect until July 6, 2021.
“We have a basic consensus with the WHO that virus tracing is a scientific problem and that it requires international scientific research and cooperation from scientists around the world,” ministry spokesman Hua said in a daily briefing. “The WHO also believes that virus tracking is an ongoing problem, which may involve multiple countries and regions, and will also conduct similar inspections in other countries and regions as needed.”
The WHO has confirmed the visit of an epidemiologist and animal disease specialist, but has not provided information on their agendas while in China. The virus causing the deadly disease COVID-19 is believed to have originated from bats and then jumped into humans through an intermediary species, possibly the anteater-like pangolin that is prized in China for its scales used in Chinese medicine. and its meat.
In Japan, more than 30 Marines tested positive at Futenma’s US Air Station in Okinawa, where infections among US service members have rapidly increased to more than 90 since last week. Okinawa is home to more than half of the approximately 50,000 Japanese-based American soldiers.
Confirmed cases have also been found at three other Okinawa bases: 22 at Camp Hansen, one at Camp Kinser and one at Camp McTureous. Authorities said movements of people in Futenma and Camp Hansen have been restricted and that large-scale virus tests are underway.
In other parts of the world, the number of infections has increased dramatically in India, South Africa and Brazil, whose virus-denying president has tested positive.
India, which has the most confirmed virus cases after the United States and Brazil, reported a record daily increase of 28,701 new cases on Monday. Authorities in several cities are re-establishing strict blockades after trying to loosen things up to revive a crisis economy.
In South Africa, which accounts for more than 40 percent of all reported coronavirus cases in Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday that the country would again ban the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of people needing emergency treatment so that hospitals have more beds. to treat patients with COVID-19.
South Africa is also restoring the night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and has made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks in public.
“We are taking these steps fully aware that they impose unwanted restrictions on people’s lives. However, they are necessary to overcome the peak of the disease,” Ramaphosa said in a letter to the nation on Monday.
“There is no way to avoid the coronavirus storm. But we can limit the damage it can cause to our lives.”
In France, the government was considering requiring the use of masks in all interior public spaces amid a small increase in virus infections and a major drop in public surveillance. Greece was seeking a ban on church and village fairs and tighter tourism-related controls after a recent increase in confirmed coronavirus cases.