Coronavirus has now killed more than 120,000 people in the United States. This emerges from an NBC news list that shows that over 2.2 million people have been infected across the country.
The grim number was reached hours before President Donald Trump said a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said he wanted to “slow down the tests” on Saturday. The White House later said he was kidding.
The head of the World Health Organization also warned on Friday that the spread of the virus is accelerating after a daily high of 150,000 new cases was reported last week.
Almost 8.8 million people worldwide have been infected with the respiratory disease by Sunday and, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 464,000 people have been killed. The true number is believed to be much higher since many cases remain untested.
In China, officials said on Sunday that 2.3 million people have been tested in the country’s capital to curb a significant outbreak in Beijing after easing restrictions.
Medical aid teams from Wuhan – where the virus originated at the end of last year – arrived in Beijing late Saturday for further testing, Chinese state media reported.
There were no new domestic cases in the city for 56 consecutive days, but since June 11, the capital has reported 227 new cases.
Nearby South Korea continues to fight to stem a resurgence of the outbreak that has eradicated some of the country’s hard-won pandemic gains since the loosening of social distancing rules in April.
The South Korean health authorities warned the nation of a new “summer wave” on Sunday if the public wears no masks and maintains no social distance.
According to health authorities, 24 of the 48 new cases on Sunday were in the Seoul region, which has been the center of the country’s latest outbreak since late May. However, ten of the new cases come from downtown Daejeon, indicating that the virus is spreading again.
In other countries, South Africa eased the blocking measures under economic pressure, although almost 4,000 more COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday. According to the Africa Center for Disease Control, the country reported more than 92,000 cases on Sunday, about 30 percent of virus cases on the African continent.
The New Development Bank approved a $ 1 billion emergency COVID 19 loan to South Africa on Saturday to mitigate the significant socio-economic impact of a pandemic.
The severely affected Brazil on Saturday increased the total number of cases by more than 50,000 compared to the previous day, the Ministry of Health said. President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the risk of the virus despite his country’s more than 1 million cases causing nearly 50,000 deaths.
As the number of virus cases in America and across Africa increases, European governments continue to loosen restrictions as infections slow down.
As of Sunday, 47 million Spaniards can move freely across the country for the first time since the national state of emergency ends after three months. The blocking measures have been gradually withdrawn in recent weeks.
In nearby Italy, which at times had the most cases and deaths in the world this spring, Pope Francis welcomed doctors and nurses from the severely affected Lombardy to the Vatican on Saturday to thank them for their work and their sacrifice.
Francis said that Lombardy doctors “testified to God’s closeness to the sufferer” and literally became “angels” to help the sick recover.
In Britain – which lowered its COVID-19 alert from “exponential” to “epidemic” on Friday – the government announced next week that it would announce whether it would loosen the rules on social distance, according to which people were six feet should be kept apart.
However, in many regions of Europe there are new localized peaks, some of the largest of which focus on meat processing companies. German officials said on Saturday that the number of workers infected in a slaughterhouse in the northwest of the country has increased to over 1,000.
Leou Chen, Stella Kim and Associated Press contributed.