Biggest daily increases in coronavirus cases recorded

0
18


The world saw the largest daily increase yet in coronavirus cases yesterday, official statistics have shown as the pandemic continues to accelerate and wreak havoc globally.

World Health Organization (WHO) figures revealed 183,020 Covid-19 infections were recorded on Sunday, June 21 — topping the previous high of 181,000 on Thursday, June 18. 

Nearly a third occurred in Brazil (54,771) followed by the US (36,617) and India (15,413) — taking the overall number of infections past 8.7million. More than 460,000 deaths have been recorded.

But the actual number of Covid-19 cases since the virus was first spotted in China in December will be drastically higher because of a lack of mass-testing and the large proportion of asymptomatic cases. 

Despite clear progress in containing the virus in some regions, especially those that saw early outbreaks, globally the number of new cases has soared in recent days. Hospitals are scrambling to cope in Brazil, Iraq and India.

It comes amid claims from a top Italian doctor that the coronavirus — once considered an ‘aggressive tiger’ of a disease — has weakened and become more like a wild cat, raising hopes it could die out on its own. 

WHO figures appear to add weight to the controversial theory, with the rolling three-day average of deaths having dropped from nearly 5,400 at the start of June to below 4,000 yesterday. 

COVID-19 IS BECOMING WEAKER, TOP DOCTOR CLAIMS 

The coronavirus, once an ‘aggressive tiger’ of a disease, has weakened and become more like a wild cat, according to a top Italian doctor.

Professor Matteo Bassetti said he is convinced the virus is ‘changing in severity’ and patients are now surviving infections that would have killed them before. 

And if the virus’s weakening is true, Covid-19 could even disappear without a for a vaccine by becoming so weak it dies out on its own, he claimed. 

He has said multiple times in recent months that patients with Covid-19 seem to be faring much better than they were at the start of the epidemic in Italy.

Professor Bassetti suggests this could be because of a genetic mutation in the virus making it less lethal, because of improved treatments, or because people are not getting infected with such large doses because of social distancing. 

But other scientists have hit back at the claims in the past and said there is no scientific evidence that the virus has changed at all.

 

Experts say rising case counts reflect multiple factors, including more testing and spreading infections. But the death rate — which has remained fairly stable — adds to the slim evidence that the virus is weakening. 

Still, in east Asia there were signs of progress as South Korea, which dodged a crisis early on in the outbreak, reported 17 new cases — the first time its daily increase fell to under 20 in nearly a month.

Officials in the country have recorded at least 50 new cases a day in the past few weeks, amid more public activity, eased attitudes on social distancing and an uptick in imported cases.

Elsewhere in Asia, the increase in the Chinese capital of Beijing was in single digits for the first time in eight days. It reported nine cases after thousands of people were tested for the life-threatening virus. 

Millions of people in Beijing have been rounded up and forced back into lockdown amid a new outbreak that Chinese officials have blamed on imported European salmon.

Even in New Zealand, which earlier declared victory over the outbreak and said it had eliminated local transmissions of the virus, two new cases were reported on Monday. The country now has nine active cases after having none at all earlier this month.

More than two thirds of the 4,743 new Covid-19 deaths were reported in the Americas — 1,206 were confirmed in Brazil alone. It means the Americas — which includes North, Central and South — have endured 219,000 fatalities and 4.2million cases.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week warned the Covid-19 pandemic had entered a ‘new and dangerous’ phase, warning the virus was still spreading fast and it is ‘still deadly’. 

Dr Tedros, who has been under fire for spouting Beijing propaganda, urged people to maintain social distancing and ‘extreme vigilance’. Another WHO director warned a second wave in the autumn was possible.

German officials yesterday revealed the coronavirus reproduction rate has jumped to 2.88, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term.

GERMANY’S R RATE JUMPS FROM 1.79 TO 2.88 IN ONE DAY 

Germany's coronavirus reproduction rate has jumped to 2.88, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term

Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate has jumped to 2.88, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term

Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate has jumped to 2.88, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term.

The figure on Sunday marks an increase from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said.

A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease.

The number, a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago.

The figure on Sunday marks an increase from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said.

A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease.

The number, a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago. 

It comes after a top Italian doctor claimed yesterday he was convinced the coronavirus is ‘changing in severity’ and patients are now surviving infections that would have killed them before. 

Professor Matteo Bassetti has said multiple times in recent months that patients with Covid-19 seem to be faring much better than they were at the start of the epidemic in Italy.

He suggests this could be because of a genetic mutation in the virus making it less lethal, because of improved treatments, or because people are not getting infected with such large doses because of social distancing. 

But other scientists have hit back at the claims in the past and said there is no scientific evidence that the virus has changed at all.

Viruses are known to change over time because they are subject to random genetic mutations in the same way that all living things are.

These mutations can have various effects and many will only happen briefly and not become a permanent change as newer generations of viruses replace the mutated ones.

SOUTH KOREA CONFIRMS SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19

South Korea has confirmed a second wave of coronavirus as the health minister warned of a ‘grave situation’ in the country.

The Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said a total of 90 imported cases were identified over the past week, showing a sharp rise from the previous week’s 48. 

‘The government faces a grave situation as health officials need not only to contain locally transmitted infections, but also manage imported cases,’ Park said in a government meeting on COVID-19 responses.  

In a separate briefing, Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged that the country was now going through a second wave of the virus, following a surge in late February and March centered around the southeastern city of Daegu.

However, some of the mutations might turn out to be advantageous to the virus, and get carried forward into future generations.

For example, if a virus becomes less dangerous to its host – that is, it causes fewer symptoms or less death – it may find that it is able to live longer and reproduce more.

As a result, more of these less dangerous viruses are produced and they may go on to spread more effectively than the more dangerous versions, which could be stamped out by medication because more people realise they are ill, for example.

The mutation may then be taken forward in the stronger generations and become the dominant version of the virus.

In an explanation of an scientific study about HIV, the NHS said in 2014: ‘The optimal evolutionary strategy for a virus is to be infectious (so it creates more copies of itself) but non-lethal (so its host population doesn’t die out).

‘The “poster boy” for successful long-living viruses is, arguably, the family of viruses that cause the, which has existed for thousands of years.’

South Korea today confirmed a second wave of coronavirus as the health minister warned of a ‘grave situation’ in the country.

The Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said a total of 90 imported cases were identified over the past week, showing a sharp rise from the previous week’s 48. 

‘The government faces a grave situation as health officials need not only to contain locally transmitted infections, but also manage imported cases,’ Park said in a government meeting on COVID-19 responses.  

In a separate briefing, Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged that the country was now going through a second wave of the virus, following a surge in late February and March centered around the southeastern city of Daegu.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here