- WHO reports record single-day jump in cases
- Brazil tops list, with US second
- California reports record jump in cases
- German "R" rate nears 3 as meat processing plant outbreak intensifies
- Tulsa reports record jump in infections day after Trump rally
- At least 12 states report 7-day averages at record highs
- Spain lifts restrictions on tourism as economy reopens
- South Korea bars travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh
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Update (1740ET): Building on Dr. Tedros's warning that the global outbreak was "accelerating", the WHO has reported the largest single-day increase in virus infections by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. Brazil saw the biggest spike, contributing a stunning 54,771 cases, a new record daily total for any country, eclipsing the record 49k daily total reported out of the US back in April. With daily totals at or near record highs in more than a dozen states, the US was the second-largest contributor with 36,617.
Since the outbreak began, the WHO has counted a total of 8,708,008 cases and 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4,743 deaths in the past day (which is, thankfully, well below the peak level from April). However, more than two-thirds of these new deaths were reported in the Americas.
In other news, Mexico hit a new record with 50% of the cases tested in the last 24 hours coming back positive as Mexico has become the second-worst outbreak in Latin America.
As we noted a day ago, Germany's reproduction rate has been on the rise in the past few weeks. After ticking slightly higher during the opening weeks of Germany's reopening, the reproduction rate - known as "R0" or just "R" - a critical metric aiming to measure the average number of infections caused by each carrier, which is representative of the virus's rate of spread. The 7-day average rate for "R", which is a critical metric in the eyes of Germany's public health officials at the Robert Koch Institute, climbed to 2.88 on Sunday after a daily reading of 2.03 on Sunday. The RKI stressed that the increases were mainly due to local outbreaks in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where more than 1,300 meat processing plant workers tested positive in what has been one of the country's biggest clusters.
As we noted earlier, California’s new cases rose by a record on Sunday and Florida infections jumped more than the weekly average, though not quite surpassing the record daily total set yesterday, the latest evidence of a possible resurgence in the sun belt states as the number of cases reported in the US increased by 1.2% on Sunday to 2,275,000.
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Update (1400ET): After reporting another record total yesterday during the hours before President Trump's campaign rally began, public health officials in Tulsa said Sunday that the city had reported another record jump in new cases.
USA: Tulsa County, Oklahoma reports 143 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours.— Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) June 21, 2020
Tulsa's largest daily increase so far.
Of course, it's probably too early for them to be tied to last night's rally...
...plus, cases in the area had already been on the rise, which is why the city's mayor wasn't exactly thrilled about the president's decision.
Meanwhile, California - one of 12 states that saw its 7-day average hit a new record high over the past week, per NYT - reported another record jump in new cases on Sunday, with 4,515 new cases, and 71 new deaths. That's compared with 3,932 cases and 67 deaths yesterday.
The new numbers brought the statewide total north of 175k.
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With only a few more hours to go until US equity futures open on Sunday night, it appears the dire situation across the American south and West has gone from bad to worse. According to a Washington Post tally of coronavirus data released by each state on Saturday, 8 states on Saturday reported their highest single-day case counts since the pandemic began, and the pan-US tally of new infections surpassed 30,000 for the second straight day (both Friday and Saturday). The US hasn't regularly reported 30k COVID-19 cases a day in seven weeks. And while New York and the surrounding states that caught the brunt of the outbreak - or the first wave, at least - haven't seen the feared upsurge in new cases.
States across the South and West, including Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, Nevada and Missouri, set records for single-day confirmed cases, and 13 states set new highs for their 7-day averages.
On Sunday, Florida reported another 3,494 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 97,291. Though Sunday's number broke a streak of daily records, it is still well above the 7-day average seen in recent weeks, leaving the state on track to pass the 100k case mark tomorrow.
Florida would become the 7th state to pass 100k behind New York, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts.
According to the NYT, 22 states were listed under the "increasing" tab of its coronavirus tracker.
Furthermore, while the Washington Post reported that the first iterations of the COVID-19 tests distributed nationwide in March and April by the CDC were so inaccurate as to be practically useless, a chorus of Democratic critics led by Joe Biden has spoken out against President Trump over a remark he made during last night's rally in Tulsa, when he suggested that he pressed the CDC to hold back on the testing during the early days of the outbreak.
Even if Trump was telling the truth (the president, of course, has a widely acknowledged tendency to exaggerate when speaking extemporaneously at these rallies), a surge in testing during the early days of the outbreak may have only created more confusion. But many of the president's Democratic critics claimed Trump's remarks further cemented the notion that he put the economy before safeguarding the lives of the most vulnerable Americans.
"The President said tonight that he slowed down testing so the public death toll wouldn’t be worse," Elizabeth Warren tweeted. “We still don’t have a national testing strategy & Trump’s plan is to bury his head. This is a deadly failure."
Outside of the US, Spain officially entered the next phase of its reopening plan on Sunday, which included allowing tourists from most of Europe, but warning that social distancing measures must be followed to avoid a second wave. Speaking just before the three-month-old measures expired at midnight Saturday, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez asked the country to keep its guard up.
"We will leave behind the state of alarm and we will enter the new normality...our economy is starting to beat. We are in a situation where we can move forward. We can’t drop our guard," he reportedly said.
After finally wrestling a surprisingly virulent outbreak under control, Saudi Arabia on Sunday removed curfews and other restrictions imposed to fight its spread after 73 days of w relatively restrictive lockdown that also kept millions of Muslim pilgrims out of the Holy Cities as pilgrimmages were put on hold.
Over in East Asia, South Korea reported 48 new cases of the virus, 8 of which were imported, half from Bangladesh and half from Pakistan. In response, South Korea announced Saturday that it would restrict travel from both countries.