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New record for US virus cases

作者:admin 2020-12-07

New record for US virus cases

vaccine Photo:VCG

The US notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day running, as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the
COVID-19 pandemic would not end soon with vaccines.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University showed the world's worst-hit country - which has seen a dramatic virus resurgence in recent weeks - reached nearly 230,000 new infections and 2,527 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday alone.

For two weeks, the US has regularly topped 2,000 deaths per day, as it had in the spring at the height of the first wave of the country's outbreak.

US health officials warned of a surge after millions of Americans traveled to celebrate last week's Thanksgiving holiday despite pleas from authorities to stay home.

Coronavirus has now killed more than 1.5 million people and infected 66 million around the world since emerging in 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

The WHO has warned that vaccines are no magic bullet for the coronavirus crisis, as Russia started vaccinating its high-risk workers and other countries geared up for similar programs.

The WHO cautioned against what it said was an erroneous belief that the pandemic would end soon with vaccines on the horizon.

"Vaccines do not equal zero COVID[-19]," said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, adding that not everyone will be able to receive it in early 2021. 

"Vaccination will add a major, major, powerful tool to the tool kit that we have. But by themselves, they will not do the job."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also cautioned against the "growing perception that the pandemic is over" with the virus still spreading fast, putting enormous pressure on hospitals and health workers.

Health officials in Moscow said they had opened 70 coronavirus vaccine centers in the Russian capital that would initially offer jabs for health, education and social workers.

The WHO says 51 candidate vaccines are currently being tested on humans, with 13 reaching final-stage mass testing.

The US is expected to give a green light to vaccines in later December, while Belgium, France and Spain have said jabs will begin in January for the most vulnerable.

Italy is seeing a dramatic resurgence of infections after it largely tamped down an earlier outbreak by enforcing a strict lockdown, while Latin America and the Caribbean region have seen an 18 percent spike in cases in a week.

Other countries are also unveiling holiday restrictions, with Switzerland banning Christmas caroling in the streets and Madrid canceling most New Year events in the city center.

Portugal's second wave has started to subside, but authorities said they decided to keep restrictions in force so they can be relaxed over the festive period.

AFP

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Posted in: AMERICAS

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