The United States has set another single-day record for new coronavirus cases, surpassing 40,000 for the first time.
Tracking by The Washington Post showed the number of new daily cases in the United States had surpassed the previous record set Thursday, with five states setting single-day highs: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
The surge in cases led Florida and Texas to announce they were reclosing bars and imposing new restrictions to try to stop the spread of the virus.
Vice President Mike Pence said during a White House coronavirus task force news briefing that 16 states were experiencing increases in infections and 34 states had recently reported stabilizing numbers of new cases.
He said it was “very encouraging news” that half of the new cases in Florida and Texas were among Americans under 35, because younger people are less likely to have serious outcomes from the virus.
Pence said the federal government was focusing on surges in Southern states and encouraged people to comply with local, state and federal guidelines to avert further spread of the virus.
The coronavirus task force held its first public briefing in nearly two months Friday; U.S. President Donald Trump did not attend.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases, with more than 2.4 million, about one-fourth of all infections worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. is also the world leader in COVID-19 deaths, with nearly 125,000.
The top U.S. infectious-disease expert said Friday on CNN that the White House coronavirus task force was considering testing groups of people at one time.
The proposal, which Dr. Anthony Fauci first mentioned to The Washington Post, is under consideration after Trump recently said he asked that testing be slowed down because more testing would reveal more infections.
The World Health Organization said Friday that it needed more than $30 billion over the next year to develop and produce COVID-19 tests, vaccines and other treatments.
A WHO-led coalition that is focused on containing the spread of the coronavirus hopes to use the funds to speed efforts to assist low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) by the middle of next year.
The WHO said in a statement Friday that plans included “the accelerated development, equitable allocation and scaled-up delivery of 500 million tests to LMICs by mid-2021, 245 million courses of treatments to LMICs by mid-2021, and 2 billion vaccine doses, of which 1 billion will be purchased for LMICs, by the end of 2021.”
India reported close to a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday with 17,296 new infections, its biggest 24-hour increase. The spike prompted a delay in the resumption of regular train services until August 12.
A coronavirus state of emergency in Thailand that critics maintain has been used to suppress political dissent may be extended next week. The cabinet is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to extend it. The state of emergency empowers the government to censor the media, disperse gatherings and implement curfews.
Portugal said it was reinstating lockdown measures for about 700,000 people living around Lisbon after a rise in cases.
In Britain, Health Secretary Matt Hancock threatened to close beaches in the country if coronavirus cases rose after a heat wave led people to flock to the shores.
Kyodo News reported Japan’s highest daily total since it eased its lockdown, with more than 100 new infections for the first time since May 9.
Australia said it would continue to reopen its economy despite a surge of infections in the state of Victoria.