Masks, travel restrictions, testing as virus cases increase.

BANGKOK (AP) – Governments and businesses are taking precautions as coronavirus case numbers rise to new levels in parts of the US. USA And across the world, which could nullify two months of progress.

Indonesia was expected to pass the 50,000 mark for confirmed infections on Thursday. In Melbourne, health workers planned to go door-to-door to screen more than 100,000 residents for a coronavirus hot spot that threatens to undo the nation’s success in fighting the virus.

In the Indian capital of New Delhi, which has reported more than 70,000 cases, authorities said they would carry out house-to-house checks for the next two weeks. With the city’s hospitals overwhelmed, military personnel provided care in makeshift medical wards created from railroad cars.

India reported a record 16,922 cases on Thursday, bringing the national total to 473,105, with nearly 15,000 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa said cases on the continent have increased to more than 336,000, an increase of 10,000 compared to the previous day. The head of the CDC in Africa said the pandemic on the 54-nation continent “is accelerating very rapidly,” while the shortage of test materials and medical equipment remains severe in many countries.

The actual number of cases everywhere is believed to be much higher for a number of reasons, including limited evidence.

Global financial markets were rocked by setbacks in the fight against the pandemic, clouding prospects for recovery in economies in their worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Asian stocks fell on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 700 points overnight for a 2.7% drop and the broader S&P 500 fell 2.6%.

In China, where the virus first appeared late last year, an outbreak in Beijing appeared to have been under control. China reports 19 recently confirmed cases across the country amid massive tests in the capital. Case numbers both domestically and in Beijing increased by only one digit since Wednesday.

South Korea was still struggling to quell an outbreak there, reporting 28 new cases Thursday, mainly related to nightlife, churches, a large e-commerce warehouse, and door-to-door sales. But the numbers haven’t reached the hundreds of new cases every day in late February and early March.

While some governments are considering more aggressive actions to stop new outbreaks, other precautions are being unraveled elsewhere.

Skyscraper-packed Dubai in the United Arab Emirates ended a month-long night curfew, and the city-state media office said in a tweet that there would be “free movement all day and all night. “as long as people wear masks and maintain social distance. .

European nations appeared on track to reopen their shared borders before July 1, and their EU representatives debated the criteria for lifting restrictions on visitors from outside Europe. In Greece, aviation officials were visiting open regional airports due to the opening of direct international flights on July 1.

Americans are unlikely to be allowed into the EU nations, given the pandemic in the US. USA And President Donald Trump’s ban on Europeans entering the United States.

US hospital administrators and health experts warned Wednesday that politicians and a public weary of being locked up are letting a disaster unfold. The 34,700 cases of COVID-19 reported Tuesday returned to the United States near its peak of 36,400 new cases in late April in one day, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that their states, which were devastated by early outbreaks that appear to be under control, will require travelers from certain states to be quarantined. for 24 days upon arrival.

Quarantine applies to people who come from states with a positive test rate greater than 10 per 100,000 residents on an average of seven days, or with a positive rate of 10% or more for seven days.

Several states have established single-day case records this week. They include Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Oklahoma. Some also broke hospitalization records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.

More than 120,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus in the United States, the highest number in the world, and more than 2.3 million confirmed infections across the country. On Wednesday, the computer model of the outbreak, widely cited by the University of Washington, projected nearly 180,000 deaths by Oct. 1.

“People became complacent,” said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist Hospital System. “And he’s coming back and biting us, frankly.”

Alarmed, some states are moving to ensure more consistent use of face masks and other antivirus measures.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, ordered people to wear masks in public as the daily count of hospitalizations and new cases hovered around records. In Florida, several counties and cities recently enacted mask requirements.

The Nevada governor announced that the state will require the use of facial covers in public places to stop the growing infections after casinos, restaurants and other businesses began to reopen.

Dr. Peter Hotez, an infectious disease expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said he is concerned that states waste what time they have to avoid a much bigger crisis.

“We are still talking about subtlety, still arguing whether we should wear masks or not, and we still don’t understand that a vaccine is not going to rescue us,” he said.

Worldwide, more than 9.4 million people have been confirmed infected, and nearly 500,000 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins count.

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO chief of emergencies, said when countries will reach their maximum number of infections depends entirely on what people do.

“There are no magic answers. There are no spells here. You can’t guess this, “Ryan told reporters in Geneva.” We have to act at all levels. “


Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed to this report.


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