By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
The global case tally for the coronavirus illness COVID-19 climbed to 9.5 million on Thursday, a day after the U.S. recorded its highest one-day peak since late April and cases continued to climb in Brazil, Mexico and other countries, in the latest indication that the pandemic is far from contained.
The U.S. counted 34,700 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, the highest level since a late April peak number of 36,400. While New York and neighboring states have succeeded in flattening their infection curve, 29 states are still seeing increasing cases over the last 14 days, according to a New York Times tracker.
California, Texas and Florida are leading the pack, while Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma have set records for number of new cases in a single day this week. Other states, including North Carolina and South Carolina, have seen their highest rate of hospitalizations.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott paused the reopening of the state in response to the spike in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. Businesses that were allowed reopen under previous phases of reopening can still operate at the designated capacity levels and under health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, he said Thursday.
The pandemic is still very much alive in other parts of the world too. In Brazil, Mexico, India, Iran, Colombia, Iraq, South Africa and Bangladesh, the 5-day average of new cases is still up, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
Countries that appeared to successfully contain the spread of the virus are also seeing resurgences as they reopen and lift lockdowns. Europe saw an increase last week for the first time in months, according to World Health Organization’s Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe.
Thirty countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks, Kluge told Agence France-Presse.
Germany, which was widely admired for its successful approach to the crisis and for having far fewer cases and fatalities than neighbors, suffered a setback this week, when it had to reimpose lockdowns in two districts after an outbreak at a slaughterhouse.
At least 484,092 people are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 around the world, according to the Johns Hopkins data.
At least 4.8 million people have recovered.
The U.S. leads the world with a case tally of 2.39 million and death toll of 122,177. The CDC said Thursday that an estimated 20 million Americans, about 6% of the population, have likely been infected with COVID-19, according to a nationally representative survey it conducted using blood samples.
This figure, which takes into account asymptomatic people and those who were sickened but did not get tested for COVID-19, is more than eight times larger than the estimated 2.3 million tests that have been performed in the U.S.
The U.S. numbers are more than double the next highest totals, Brazil’s 1.19 million cases and 53,830 deaths. Russia is third in cases with 613,148 and 8,594 deaths, followed by India with 473,105 and 14,894 fatalities.
The U.K. has 309,455 cases and 43,314 fatalities, the highest in Europe and third highest in the world. China, where the illness was first reported late last year, has 84,673 cases and 4,640 fatalities.
What’s the latest medical news?
The race to create a COVID-19 vaccine has upended the traditional drug development process, and health officials and drug makers are trying to hasten the time it takes to find a working vaccine, in part by moving forward with manufacturing plans even before the vaccine candidates prove their safety or efficacy, as MarketWatch’s Jaimy Lee reported.
“The pandemic response is different,” said Joseph Kim, CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202993817/composite INO +2.10% , which has said it plans to have a millions of doses of its vaccine candidate by the end of this year. “We’re doing all these things in parallel.”
Inovio said Tuesday that the Department of Defense has awarded it $71 million to fund development of its vaccine candidate. The company is expected to release data from a Phase 1 clinical trial in the next week.
Making this kind of change is what enables government officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to say repeatedly that it’s possible to have a viable COVID-19 vaccine within a year of the coronavirus first coming to the attention of the U.S. government. Trump administration officials have said they aim to have a vaccine by January as part of Operation Warp Speed.