Australia’s coronavirus hot spot — the state of Victoria — is reporting a record 317 newly confirmed cases in a day. The tally for Thursday surpassed the state’s previous high of 288 on July 10.
The previous one-day Australian record was 212 cases set March 28 by New South Wales state during the first peak of the pandemic. New South Wales reported only 10 new cases Thursday. Two men in their 80s died in Victoria in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll for the pandemic to 113.
Victoria’s government is reducing the number of non-urgent surgeries allowed in hospitals to increase beds available for COVID-19 patients. State officials had planned to restore hospitals to normal medical services by the end of July before infections began to rise in recent weeks.
Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said of the latest caseload: “It’s a big number. It needs to turn around.”
As of 6:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, the global coronavirus case count stood at 13,575,040, with 584,556 deaths and 7,575,638 cases considered recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Meanwhile, Australian authorities said a COVID-19 patient apparently became infectious within a day of contracting the coronavirus. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd gave no details of how the patient was infected in New South Wales state or whether that patient infected anyone else before the coronavirus was diagnosed.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, the country’s peak decision-making body for public health emergencies, reported such a short incubation was “unusual,” but “not implausible,” Kidd said.
People usually develop symptoms within five to seven days but may become infectious a day or two before their symptoms develop, Kidd said. A person becoming infectious within 24 hours was unlikely to be evidence of the virus changing, Kidd said.
It more likely reflected differences in individual reactions to the virus, he said.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 6:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 108,829 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 72,485 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,848.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Tokyo hit a new daily record with 286, raising alarm Japan may be reopening too quickly. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said one reason for the recent rise in cases is increased testing, which numbered more than 4,000 on Thursday.
She said 760 people are hospitalized, seven of them in serious condition, while more than 350 are quarantined at hotels and homes.
Separately, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged a need to re-examine the government’s tourism campaign offering discounts for travelling within Japan, set to start next week. “We are looking at the situation with a high level of nervousness,” Abe said.
Japan has had fewer than 23,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and about 1,000 deaths.
Israel reached a new daily record of confirmed coronavirus cases, the country’s Health Ministry said Thursday, as a new nationwide lockdown to curb the pandemic appeared imminent.
The Health Ministry on Thursday reported 1,898 new cases of the virus. The country has registered more than 44,500 total cases. At least 380 Israelis have died of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Adding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s troubles, a new economic bailout plan announced by the embattled premier came under tough criticism from some of the government’s top economic experts.
The growing coronavirus outbreak, coupled with a struggling economy, have marked a dramatic turnaround for Netanyahu. The Israeli leader received widespread praise for moving quickly to contain the coronavirus last spring.
But since lifting a series of restrictions in May, the country has experienced a surge in cases. With unemployment over 20 per cent, the pandemic’s economic impact is generating domestic unrest and Netanyahu’s approval rating is plummeting.
India’s virus cases have surged another 32,695, taking the national count closer to one million and forcing a new lockdown in the popular western beach state of Goa, two weeks after it reopened to tourists.
The new confirmed cases took the national total to 968,876. The Health Ministry on Wednesday also reported a record number of 606 deaths for a total of 24,915.
The Indian Medical Association said 99 doctors have died and another 1,302 are infected with the coronavirus. It called for shortening of working hours for health workers following safety concerns. It also said the fatality rate among doctors was 7.6 per cent, much higher than the national average of about 2.5 per cent.
About a dozen states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam, have put high-risk areas under lockdowns, allowing only essential food supplies and health services.
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Pakistan has reported its lowest number of daily COVID-19 deaths in about a month. It recorded 40 deaths in the past 24 hours on Thursday, compared to the highest single-day toll of 153 on June 19.
Pakistan has recorded 257,914 confirmed cases, including 2,145 in the past 24 hours, and 5,426 fatalities.
Until weeks ago, Pakistan had witnessed a 20 per cent infection rate as a result of daily testing. It is now less than 10 per cent, but authorities fear another spike if people ignore physical distancing during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which will be celebrated on July 31.
Russia’s official coronavirus case tally reached 752,797 on Thursday, the fourth largest in the world, after authorities reported 6,428 new cases in the last 24 hours. In their daily readout, officials said 167 people had died overnight, pushing the official death toll to 11,937.
Spain is paying homage to the nation’s victims of the novel coronavirus and workers who put their lives at risk during the worst of the pandemic.
Relatives of around 100 people who died, representatives of medical personnel, police and other essential workers are joining King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, government authorities and officials from the European Union and the World Health Organization in a solemn ceremony at an esplanade in Madrid’s Royal Palace.
Spain has officially recorded 28,413 fatalities among some 258,000 confirmed cases, although excess mortality figures suggest the actual number is thousands higher.
In France, new Prime Minister Jean Castex says masks will be mandatory in closed public places as of next week, sooner than Aug. 1 as announced earlier by President Emmanuel Macron.
The change in date comes as the Mayenne area of the Loire region has seen several COVID-19 outbreaks, and authorities have recorded a marginal increase in infections in the Paris region.
Calling the situation in Mayenne “problematic,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he asked the prefect of Mayenne personally to make masks compulsory in closed public places without waiting for the later date.