The US, 14 days after hitting 8 million cases crossed the mark of 9 million COVID-19 infections. Friday saw more than 99,000 cases being added to the tally. It is the fifth time since October a new record for daily cases was set. The nation also reported 978 deaths on Friday, taking the total number of COVID-19 casualties to over 230,000.
The US had recorded 90,456 new cases on Thursday, surpassing Wednesday’s 80,662 new infections.
The grim numbers stand in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump's oft-repeated campaign claim that “we are rounding the turn” on the pandemic. As per data by the John Hopkins University, this the quickest any country has reported daily cases of close to 1 million. Despite 100 deaths being reported on Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. said deaths due to the virus had dwindled to “almost nothing”.
Nursing homes, small physician offices and rural clinics have been struggling to secure N95 masks and other PPE because bigger and wealthier health care facilities have been stockpiling them, NBC News reported. Dr Robert Redfield, the director for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest surge appears to be driven by patients with no symptoms, being passed on among those between ages 12 and 30.
A high number of cases were reported from Iowa, Kentucky, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Montana, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon, Kansas, Ohio, Colorado and Maine. And three states hit record deaths: Tennessee, Montana and New Mexico. Florida alone recorded 5,500 new cases on Friday. Worried with an uptick in the cases, San Francisco Mayor London Breed told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We are tired of COVID-19 but COVID-19 is not tired of us.” Breed said that certain businesses would be shut to be reopened on Tuesday, while, restaurants will stay at 25 per cent capacity for indoor dining, and indoor pools and locker rooms at gyms will remain closed.
Restaurant owners who managed to scrape through the summer by serving customers outdoors worry that they might not survive the winter months when it will get too cold to dine outside.
Ninety-percent of the students and counsellors who took part in a Wisconsin faith-based retreat over the summer came down with coronavirus infections, a report by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention read.
"Today, we now have one person being diagnosed (with) coronavirus every second," former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr Leana Wen told CNN. "We have one American dying of coronavirus every two minutes, and that number is increasing,” she added.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), by January, cumulative deaths due to the virus could cross 514,000. With more than 46,000 people hospitalised on Friday, hospitals in the country are already under tremendous strain.
As per a study published by the CDC on Friday, the transmission of COVID-19 among household members is commons and quick. 53 per cent of people who lived with a COVID-19 patient tested positive within a week.