Coronavirus cases have surpassed 11 million worldwide, as the outbreak continues to surge in several countries including the United States, where case numbers tallied their largest single day total, topping 57,000.
Friday’s totals in the United States, reported by The Washington Post, marked the seventh record-breaking day of coronavirus cases in nine days. Cases are now rising in 40 out of the 50 U.S. states.
The U.S. state of Florida reported 9,488 new cases Friday, a day after setting a new daily record with more than 10,000 cases.
Florida said it has reached about 80 percent capacity of its hospital intensive care units while the state of Arizona reported it is at 91 percent capacity, an all-time high.
President Donald Trump visited Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday for an early Independence Day celebration that thousands of people attended.
Although the U.S. leads the world in the number of COVID-19 cases, local officials did not require social distancing or mask-wearing at the event. However, free masks were available for those who wanted them.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, said on Fox News earlier this week: “We’ve told folks that have concerns that they can stay home.”
Brazil is another country where coronavirus cases are rising, surpassing 1.5 million. The nation has the world's second-largest outbreak after the United States.
On Friday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro approved a law requiring people to wear face masks on streets and on public transportation. However, he vetoed clauses that would have required wearing a face mask in enclosed spaces, including churches, schools and shops. The president, who has been widely criticized by health experts for downplaying the severity of the virus, says such a move could violate property rights.
In another development, the World Health Organization updated an account of how it learned of the coronavirus outbreak. It said it was alerted by its own office in China, and not by Chinese government officials. The agency had earlier said that the first report of the virus had come from China without further specifying from whom the information came.
The United States has strongly criticized the World Health Organization for its early handling of the pandemic and its dealings with China and said it would withdraw from the group.
In India, officials reported nearly 21,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus Friday. Johns Hopkins University said Friday that the South Asian nation has more than 625,000 COVID-19 cases.
In Pakistan, the country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced Friday he’s tested positive for the coronavirus. Qureshi, who says he is quarantining at home with a “slight fever” is the senior most government official in Pakistan to contract the virus.
Australian officials say 10,000 people in Victoria have refused to take the coronavirus test this past week because they believe the outbreak is not real and is instead a “conspiracy theory.”
The New York Times reports that Australia, which has been successful in keeping COVID cases to a minimum, is now locking down an area of 300,000 people in a largely immigrant community in the state of Victoria.
In England, pubs are planning to reopen Saturday for the first time in more than three months.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told voters not to be afraid to come out and cast ballots in the second round of the presidential election July 12.
Despite hundreds of new cases reported daily, Poland has been relatively successful in fending off COVID-19, with 1,500 deaths.
And in Mexico, a medical supply company has started using unmanned drones to deliver masks, gloves and other equipment to hospitals.
Doctors, nurses and other medical workers have staged nationwide protests against what they say is a shortage of protective equipment.