Coronavirus infections in the United States surged to another single-day record Friday, surpassing 180,000 for the first time, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The university reported 184,514 new cases in the U.S., a 20% increase from the 153,496 cases on Thursday, raising the total to more than 10.8 million, the most in the world.
The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. also continued to rise, with more than 1,400 fatalities reported Friday, increasing the number of deaths to nearly 245,000, more than any other country.
COVID Tracking Project figures indicate that more than 69,000 people were hospitalized Friday with COVID-19 in the U.S., an increase of about 2,000 from one day earlier.
The record-setting infection rate in the U.S. was being fueled by surges in California and in several Midwest and Northeast states.
The nation’s most populous state, California, on the West Coast, has topped the 1 million mark for COVID-19 cases, as has Texas in the South.
Outbreaks have been particularly acute in Midwestern states, including Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana.
U.S. President Donald Trump hailed progress toward an effective vaccine against the coronavirus on Friday, in his first public remarks in the six days since the media projected former Vice President Joe Biden as winner of the November 3 election.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that lawmakers must work to pass legislation that would provide financial relief to Americans in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
“Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done!” he said.
In Europe, as the continent faced another surge of coronavirus cases and several countries imposed stricter COVID-19 restrictions, Poland on Saturday reported a daily record of about 550 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the country's total to above 10,000. Ukraine confirmed a record 12,524 new cases in the previous 24 hours, up from 11,787 reported Friday.
Lebanon began a two-week lockdown Saturday to contain the spread of the virus, which has increased sharply in recent weeks and killed dozens over the past few days. A nighttime curfew was expanded from sunset to sunrise, and driving was prohibited on Sundays.
Mexico neared the 1 million mark for infections, according to Johns Hopkins data.
This week, Italy became the 10th country to surpass the 1 million mark of infections. India and Brazil follow the U.S., with more than 8.7 million and 5.8 million cases respectively. France was near 2 million cases, followed by Russia with 1.89 million. Also, over the 1 million mark were Spain, Britain, Argentina and Colombia.
As of Saturday afternoon EST, the number of global cases of COVID-19 was near 53.7 million, with 1.3 million deaths.
On Friday, American firm Microsoft said that state-supported Russian and North Korean hackers had tried in recent months to steal data from pharmaceutical companies and COVID-19 researchers.
The technology giant said most of the cyberattacks were unsuccessful, but it did not disclose details about those that were successful. Microsoft said most of the targets were in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the U.S.