New coronavirus cases soar worldwide

• As Nigeria, South Africa, China record high infection rates

As predicted by some medical experts months back, coronavirus cases have begun to spike around the world in what is generally known as the second wave of infections.

The World Health Organisation in its updated publication on ‘Criteria for releasing COVID-19 patients from isolation,’ noted that recent findings that patients whose symptoms have resolved may still test positive for the COVID-19 virus for many weeks.

It added that despite this positive test result, these patients are not likely to be infectious and therefore are unlikely to be able to transmit the virus to another person. In Africa, the figures are a reversal of earlier gains made in containing the virus. Total new cases of the virus on the continent as of June 20 stood at 3825; 667; 119; 164 and 194 for South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively. Other statistics are total new cases of 117; 116 and 201 for Kenya, Ethiopia and Mauritania respectively.

There are total new deaths of 94, 12, 14, 3, 5, 2, 7 and 2 for South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mauritania respectively. In the United States, according to The New York Times database, though COVID-19 mortalities have been declining, 20 states have indicated a recent growth in newly reported cases over the last two weeks.

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The states are California, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Washington, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii and Montana.

States like Alabama and Wyoming had previously reported a decline in cases. Several others have also seen their highest seven-day average of the entire pandemic in the last week — more than at the nationwide height of the outbreak in April.

According to the CNN, data reported by Johns Hopkins on Tuesday showed that Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas were seeing these record-high averages.

Florida alone reported 3,207 additional coronavirus cases on Thursday, June 18, their largest single-day count since the start of the outbreak. Experts are warning that the southern state has “all the markings of the next large epicentre of coronavirus transmission,” according to a team of scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. “The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences” due to state’s older population, Dr Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham told the outlet.

Arizona similarly reported a new single-day high with 2,519 new cases on June 18, while officials in Texas are also warning residents that cases are rising swiftly throughout major cities like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. China, the original epicentre of the virus, recently imposed new travel restrictions on nearly half a million residents near Beijing to try and contain a new outbreak in the area, according to CTV News. After months of no new cases in the area, 21 cases of the virus were reported on Thursday.

Brazil, South America’s largest country, has surged as the country with the second-highest number cases and deaths globally, second only to the U.S. As of Thursday, more than 2,186,983 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 118,071 people have died. Globally, the virus has sickened more than 8,380,000 people, with a worldwide death toll of at least 450,000 people.

Also, China reported twenty-seven new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, according to the latest figures from health authorities. Out of the new cases, twenty-one were confirmed in Beijing, which continues to struggle with a week-long outbreak of the virus at its largest agricultural market. One case was also diagnosed in the neighbouring Hebei province.

Three imported cases were recorded in Guangdong and one in Shanghai. Over two hundred cases have been confirmed in the capital since a cluster was traced back to the Xinfadi wholesale market in southwestern Fengtai district last week.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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