Washington, United States:
The United States approached six million coronavirus cases, nearly a quarter of the planet’s total, on Sunday as nations around the world battle to contain the raging pandemic.
Coronavirus infections worldwide rose to over 25 million as countries tightened restrictions to stop the health crisis that has changed the lives of most people.
An AFP tally, an additional one million cases have been discovered around the world roughly every four days since mid-July, with India setting the record for the highest one-day increase in cases on Sunday with 78,761 cases.
The hardest hit country in the world, the United States, had recorded 5.99 million cases of infection at 00:30 GMT Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. And the death toll is just over 183,000.
The US hit five million cases three weeks ago, just 17 days after hitting four million, the tracker said.
The virus has hampered the U.S. economy, the largest in the world, and dwarfed the once promising prospects for President Donald Trump’s re-election.
With Trump under tremendous pressure to contain the contagion, US Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn pointed out that an elusive vaccine, before the end of trials to ensure its safety and effectiveness, could obtain an emergency permit.
The virus has proven itself to be a stubborn enemy even in countries like New Zealand and South Korea, which previously largely controlled their outbreaks but are now battling new clusters of infections.
On the other side of the world, Latin America – the hardest hit region – is still struggling with its first wave. Covid-19 deaths in Brazil top 120,000, followed by the US.
Nearly 855,000 people have died of Covid-19 worldwide, and with no vaccine or effective treatment yet available, governments have had to resort to some form of social distancing and lockdown to stop the virus from spreading.
Masks will become mandatory starting Monday on New Zealand public transport and flights that have lasted more than 100 days with no local broadcast before the current cluster emerged.
And on Sunday, stricter virus restrictions were introduced in South Korea, which are also fighting against new clusters – including in the greater Seoul area, where half of the country’s population lives.
In Iraq, thousands of Shiite pilgrims wearing gloves and masks flooded the holy city of Karbala to mark Ashura in one of the largest Muslim gatherings since the pandemic began.
Ordinarily, millions of Shi’ites from around the world flock to the shrine, but this year’s commemoration has been suppressed with staff spraying disinfectant mist, checking temperatures, and forcing social distancing.
“It stands out because there are so few people,” said Fadel Hakim, a blue medical mask that cupped his chin.
“Anti-Corona” rallies in Europe
Despite all the dismal numbers, there has been steady resistance to bans and social distancing measures in many parts of the world, often because of their oppressive economic costs.
Opposition also came from the far right and left of the political spectrum, as well as conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccine activists.
In Berlin, thousands gathered on Saturday to march against the restrictions of the coronavirus – but the police later stopped the rally because many participants did not respect the social distancing measures.
Protesters waved German flags and shouted slogans against Chancellor Angela Merkel, which were often used by the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Similar protests took place in London and Zurich, where some were wearing signs supporting the far-right QAnon movement, which promotes bizarre theories about satan-worshiping cabal and “Deep State” negotiations – with no credible evidence.
In Spain, soccer superstar Lionel Messi missed a virus test at Barcelona’s training grounds, club sources confirmed, increasing the possibility that he will boycott the preseason to force a transfer from the Spanish club.
Without a coronavirus test, Messi will not be able to attend the new coach Ronald Koeman’s first training session on Monday.
The world‘s leading sporting, cultural and musical events are faced with the challenge of receiving spectators while reducing the risk of virus transmission.
The US Open tennis tournament was also hit and it was announced that an unidentified player had been withdrawn after testing positive.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)