Daily coronavirus infections in US hit record

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The U.S. saw a daily record of nearly 40,000 new coronavirus cases as a surge of infections continues to spread, surpassing an earlier peak in April following the initial outbreak.

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Data from Johns Hopkins University showed 39,972 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported on Thursday, topping the previous high of 36,291. Several states saw record daily highs, including Alabama, Texas, Idaho and Nevada.

The surge in new infections is placing hospitals in California and Texas under growing pressure from an inundation of patients.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that a potential influx of coronavirus-related hospitalizations could affect reopening plans. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the state increased by 32% in the past 14 days, with more than 4,200 people in hospitals, he said.

A medical worker administers a test for the coronavirus disease at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on June 23, 2020. (Reuters/Callaghan O’Hare)

US CORONAVIRUS CASES SURGE TO HIGHEST LEVEL IN 2 MONTHS

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring hospitals in several counties to halt nonessential surgeries to increase capacity for coronavirus patients.

"We've reached a point where a routine elective case — something as trivial as a hernia — has to be treated like an emergency because of the complications associated with delays," said Todd Rosengart, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Houston-based Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and the chairman of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Mr. Abbott also announced a pause to the next steps to reopen Texas. But he said he wouldn't clamp down where the state had relaxed restrictions.

In New York, the situation appeared to be improving. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the total number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations stood at 996, the first time the tally has dropped below 1,000 since mid-March.

SCIENTISTS 'NOT SURE' WHY CORONAVIRUS IS SURGING IN SOME STATES AND NOT OTHERS: EPIDEMIOLOGIST

Salt Lake County Health Department’s public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus anti-body test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence plans to host a briefing with members of the coronavirus task force at the Health and Human Services Department, the White House said. It will be the first such briefing in nearly two months.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the coronavirus outbreak isn't over and that "greater than 90% of the American public hasn't experienced this virus yet." The CDC estimates that only about 1 in every 10 Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has been identified and that most Americans are still susceptible to the virus.

The U.S. accounts for more than 25% of the more than 9.6 million cases world-wide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization says it expects total global cases to pass 10 million next week.

Among the global virus hot spots, India reported 17,296 new cases, its biggest single-day jump, taking its total to 490,401, according to the country's Health Ministry. The nation's death toll rose by 407, to 15,301.

In an effort to help curb the virus's spread through the country, Indian Railways canceled all bookings for regular train service and announced refunds for previous bookings. Limited passenger-train service had resumed as India started easing lockdown measures.

In China, health authorities reported on Friday 11 local infections for the previous day, all of them in Beijing. Officials have discouraged citizens from traveling outside the capital for a three-day holiday that began on Thursday. The city has recorded more than 200 cases this month, apparently stemming from an outbreak at a wholesale food market in southwestern Beijing. State-owned Beijing TV reported that two of the cases, a couple whose infections were first reported on June 20, were linked to a public bathroom they used in an area where other infected patients had been.

In Russia, the spread of the virus appears to be decelerating. Authorities there reported 6,800 new cases Friday, the first time the daily figure dipped below 7,000 since late April.

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South Korean health officials said locally transmitted cases there are slowing but that new infections linked to various clusters are still cropping up around the country. South Korea added 39 cases, bringing the nation's total to 12,602. Five cases were tied to a social-club gathering near the Han River in Seoul, and at least 12 were traced to a church in southern Seoul. Health authorities said around 1,700 churchgoers are being tested for the coronavirus.

In Tokyo, the local government reported 54 new cases, continuing a recent upward trend that officials have blamed in part on nighttime entertainment spots. Japan has recorded a decline in its daily death toll recently, and as of Friday, 51 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized in serious condition nationwide.

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