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Global coronavirus cases surpass 50 million with surges in Europe

By
Allen Cone
Crowds gather at the seafront of Naplesafter several other regions in Italy entered a partial lockdown on Friday. Naples is under a nationwide curfew. Photo by Cesare Abbate/EPA-EFE
Crowds gather at the seafront of Naplesafter several other regions in Italy entered a partial lockdown on Friday. Naples is under a nationwide curfew. Photo by Cesare Abbate/EPA-EFE

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- With coronavirus cases worldwide growing by 1 million every two days, infections have surpassed 50 million since the pandemic began at the start of the year and as nations, mainly in Europe, impose lockdowns to control the outbreak.

Infections have totaled 50,722,782, including 472,468 on Sunday, 600,965 Saturday and record 623,312 Friday, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. Cases have been growing exponentially over the past few months, passing 300,000 on Sept. 11, 400,000 on Oct. 15, 500,000 on Oct. 28 and 600,000 on Thursday.

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The death toll has not increased as rapidly. It stood at 1,261,745 so far Sunday. Sunday's increase was 5,839 after Saturday's increase of 7,445 and a record 9,202 on Friday. Before October, the peak was 8,530 on April 17.

The surges mainly have been fueled in the United States as well as a resurgence in Europe.

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The U.S. passed 100,000 daily cases for the first time last week, including a record Saturday of 127,399 by Johns Hopkins tracking and 126,092 by Worldometers.info, less than the mark of 132,5421 Friday. COVID Tracking Project listed Saturday's increase as a record 126,480.

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On Sunday, the United States, the sickest country to the pandemic, so far reported 102,726, according to Worldometers.info.

The United States for months led the world in cases, nearing 10 million with 9,961,320 and deaths with 237,566 so far Sunday, according to the Baltimore-based institution. Worldometers throughout the epidemics has listed more cases than Johns Hopkins, currently tallying above 10 million cases for the United States.

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In Europe, nations have been frequently breaking records with deaths the highest since the spring. On Saturday, the continent reported 3,189 deaths and 306,623 cases. Frequently, fatalities and cases are around half of the world total. So far Sunday, it was 2,391 deaths and 219,276 cases for a total of 292,937 deaths and 12,147,583 cases.

Four European nations are in the top 10.

Britain reported 156 deaths Sunday after 413 Saturday, and a record 1,166 on April 21 for a total of 49,044 in fifth place, as well as 20,572 cases after a record 26,684 in late October.

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Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 331 Sunday after 425 deaths Saturday and is sixth with 41,063, as well as 32,616 cases one day after a record 39,811.

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No. 7 France announced 270 deaths Sunday after 304 deaths Saturday, 828 Friday and a record 1,437 on April 15. Cases were 38,619 Sunday one day after 86,852, shattering the mark of 60,486 two days ago.

No. 8 Spain does not report data on the weekend with Friday's totals of 347 deaths and a record 22,516 cases.

Russia is in 13th place, including 286 Sunday, four days after a record 389. But cases have been surging at a greater rate with 20,498, just 84 from the record set Saturday. The nation is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,744,334.

Other European nations in the top 20 are Belgium in 17th and Germany in 19th. Those nations at one time were in the top 10 plus Netherlands, which now is 25th.

European nations have been imposing restrictions.

Britain entered a lockdown on Thursday, which is set to last until at least Dec. 2.

"The advice I've received suggests that four weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact," Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news conference.

All non-essential venues, which include pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment places and stores, are closed.

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However, schools and universities, as well as construction sites and factories are still open this time, unlike the first lockdown.

This week, Queen Elizabeth was seen in public for the first time wearing a mask in London.

"The Queen marked the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey this week, in a personal tribute ahead of Remembrance Sunday," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

During the actual remembrance, she didn't wear a mask as she appeared on a balcony overlooking the Cenotaph. The event Sunday was scaled back because of the pandemic.

Last week, the BBC reported Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this year.

In Italy, a curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nationwide, with bars and restaurants closing at 6 p.m.

Worst-hit regions entered a new lockdown Friday. Residents in "red zone" regions, including Lombardy, are to remain in their homes except for necessities including health or work. Those in "orange zones" are also banned from leaving their towns, but they may leave for work.

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France also imposed a lockdown Friday, including stricter measures in Paris. Food delivery, takeout and alcohol sales are banned in Paris between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"The second wave is already upon us, and it is brutal," French health minister Olivier VĂ©ran told a news conference Thursday, adding that "the second wave could be worse and longer" than the first and it might not ease until mid-December.

Spain has not imposed a lockdown yet but regional governments have issued restrictions and there is a nationwide curfew.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Salvador Illa said "two or three weeks" are needed to see if the current measures have reduced infections.

Other European nations in lockdown are Austria, Greece, Latvia and Germany.

In Denmark, restrictions were implemented late last week affecting nearly 300,000 people in its northern region after infections of a mutated version of the coronavirus linked to mink were discovered. The government has ordered millions of mink grown on farms for fur to be culled after the discovery last week.

The COVID-19 outbreak spread to Europe after originating in Wuhan, China. But Mainland China now ranks 34th in the world with 64,634 deaths and hasn't reported a death since April 26 and 28 cases Sunday.

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Nations on the continent Sunday reported 1,496 new deaths and 94,587 cases for a total of 255,352 fatalities and 14,425,289 infections with the cases the most in the world.

The bulk of the deaths and cases are in India and Iran.

India ranks second in the world with 126,121, including an additional 559 after a high of 97,894 in September. And the nation is second in cases with 8,507,754, including 45,674 Sunday.

Iran, which reported a record 459 new deaths, is in 10th place, as well as 9,236 cases, one day after a record 9,450.

In the Far East, South Korea has reported only 12 deaths in one week, including 1 Sunday, for a total of 478, as well as 143 cases.

Japan announced 11 fatalities and a rise of 46 in one week for a total of 1,812, including three Sunday. But the Japanese Health Ministry reported 1,331 cases, which was the third day in a row above 1,000 and the highest since 1,360 on Aug. 15.

South America has six nations in the top 20 for most deaths: Brazil in second with 162,397 deaths, Peru in 10th with 34,879, Argentina in 11th with 33,650, Colombia in 12th with 32,791, Chile in 16th with 14,543 and Ecuador in 18th with 12,830.

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Argentina passed Colombia last week.

Brazil's cases and deaths have been trending down. The nation reported 251 deaths Saturday compared with a record 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 21,056 cases, compared with a record of 70,869 on July 29. On Sunday, it added 111 deaths and 10,544 cases, for a total of 5,664,115, putting it in third place

On Sunday, the continent reported 640 deaths for a total of 302,485 and 29,675 cases for a total of 9,997,865.

Through Sunday, North America has totaled 364,546 deaths, which is most in the world, and 12,216,975 cases but only 15,000 are not in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including an additional 1,689 on Saturday and 1,070 on Sunday. Cases totaled 137,825 Saturday and 116,008 Sunday.

Mexico's death toll in fourth place in the world with 94,808, including 485 late Saturday. But the nation is only 10th in cases with fewer than 1 million.

Canada's deaths and cases are much lower than the U.S. and Mexico.

The nation reported 54 deaths Saturday and 32 on Sunday for a total of 10,522 in 22nd place. But cases have been rising with 4,058 reported on Sunday and 4,246 on Saturday, after a record 4,672 on Tuesday. In all, Canada has totaled 264,113 cases in 31st. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000.

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Throughout the nation, Canada has closed businesses and reimposed restrictions on public gatherings but schools are open in the 10 provinces and three territories though some offer remote learning.

Travel restrictions among Canada, Mexico and the United States are in place until Nov. 21. They began on March 18.

The outbreak is minimal in Oceania with New Zealand at 25 deaths with none since Sept. 16 and Australia at 907, including none since two on Oct. 28.

On Sunday, New Zealand reported six cases for a total of 1,982, which is 23 in one week, and Australia up six for 27,658, an increase of 63 in seven days.

Melbourne had emerged from a 16-week lockdown on Oct. 28 and has gone more than a week without any reported cases. But the city isn't taking any chances as the Melbourne Cup horse race -- known locally as the "race that stops the nation" -- took place Tuesday without spectators.

"While the medicine's been really tough and really hard to swallow, it's done the job," Terry Slevin, chief executive officer of the Public Health Association of Australia, said in a report by The Washington Post. "It's very important to acknowledge the economic, social and community pain that goes with the loss of freedoms, but along with that comes a successful means of managing this viral pandemic."

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In Africa, there have been 45,433 deaths, an increase of about 1,500 deaths in one week, and 1,893,619 cases.

South Africa leads the continent with 19,809 deaths, including 20 more Sunday followed by Egypt at 6,368 after 13 on Sunday and 12 on Saturday. South Africa has the 13th-most cases in the world at 737,278, including 1,372 more on Sunday.

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