The United States reported more than 55,000 coronavirus cases yesterday, marking a new global record for the highest number of cases recorded within a single day.
On Thursday, the number of cases within the country stood at 55,274, surpassing the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.
Coronavirus cases are surging in 37 out of 50 US states including Florida, which recorded more than 10,000 new cases on Thursday, meanwhile states have begun reintroducing lockdown restrictions.
California, which was the first US state to impose sweeping stay-home restrictions in March, has now ordered the closure of bars, bans on indoor dining and other restrictions in 19 counties, affecting more than 70 per cent of the state's population. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state.
2.76 million cases have now been recorded within the US. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday, American infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said that the rise in cases was caused by inefficient lockdown restrictions.
"In the United States, even in the most strict lockdown, only about 50 per cent of the country was locked down”, he said. "That allowed the perpetuation of the outbreak that we never did get under very good control."
However, in a tweet last night, President Donald Trump argued that the surge in the number of cases was due to increased levels of testing within the country.
He wrote: "There is a rise in Coronavirus cases because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country. This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is down."
The global death toll from Covid-19 has reached 520,066 according to a Reuters tally, meanwhile 10.89 million people have been reported to be infected.
Police set up checkpoints across Melbourne
Police have set up checkpoints across Melbourne staffed by 1,000 police officers, as a scandal grew over a claim that a guard in one of the city's quarantine hotels broke basic rules by having sex with a resident.
The details emerged as workers at the hotels blew the whistle on practices they say have fuelled the state of Victoria's second wave of Covid-19 cases.
The hotels were used to isolate people who had arrived in the state for two weeks in a bid to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, recorded 77 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday morning, the 16th consecutive day of double-digit increases.
On Thursday a security guard at one of Melbourne’s quarantine hotels claimed he had been given “five minutes' training” before being put to work in a situation he described as “horrendous”.
The guard broke a non-disclosure agreement to tell the Nine Network that management of the crisis was a “money-making exercise” for companies.
Mexican state considers closing US border
The top health official in the state of Sonora, Mexico has asked Mexico’s federal government to temporarily close the border to non-essential visits from the U.S.
In response to a reported spike in cases in the neighbouring US state of Arizona, Health Secretary Enrique Clausen said that he has called for entry into Sonora from Arizona to be suspended.
He said: "No more crossings from the United States into Mexico for visitors who do not have essential activities". "They should only be allowed for work or business".
The United States and Mexico previously agreed to limiting non-essential border crossings into the US during the pandemic, but Mexico has not moved to block entry into its territory and it seems unlikely the Foreign Relations Department will grant the request.
6,000 health workers across Africa infected with Covid-19
The World Health Organization has said more than 6,000 health workers have been infected with coronavirus in 38 countries across its Africa region since the pandemic began.
Across South Africa, more than 2,000 health workers across have been infected, meanwhile in Nigeria, around 1,000 workers have also been affected.
Countries including Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Mozambique and Burundi have now seen more than 10 percent of their health workers infected.
Kim Jong-un praises North Korea's response to the pandemic
Kim Jong-un has said that North Korea has stopped the coronavirus making inroads in his country and his response to the pandemic has been a "shining success".
According to state news agency KCNA, Mr Kim told a meeting of the politburo of the ruling Workers Party that North Korea had "thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis, which is a shining success achieved."
He warned against complacency or relaxation in the anti-epidemic effort and urged North Koreans to maintain "maximum alert", KCNA said in a statement.
The politburo meeting on Thursday comes as many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns, even as the world moves quickly past the grim milestones of 10 million confirmed infections and 500,000 deaths.
North Korea has reopened schools but kept a ban on public gatherings and made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public places as part of its response to the coronavirus threat, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Wednesday.
South Korean city of Gwangju returns to strict social distancing rules
The southwestern city of Gwangju , South Korea has recorded more than 50 cases the past few days, prompting the return of social distancing restrictions.
"Gwangju City immediately upgraded its social distancing guidelines to second stage, limiting indoor gatherings to below 50 and outdoor gatherings to below 100," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting on Friday.
On Thursday, South Korea reported 63 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases to 12,967, with 282 deaths recorded.
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