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Nov. 24, 2021, 6:27 a.m. EST

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 near 259 million and U.S. cases up 25% in last two weeks

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By Ciara Linnane

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 258.9 million on Wednesday, while the death toll edged above 5.16 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 47.9 million cases and 773,857 deaths. The U.S. is still averaging more than 1,100 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, and cases and hospitalizations are rising again, just as Americans prepare to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday. Michigan and Minnesota are leading the nation by new cases on a per capita basis and federal medical workers are traveling to Minnesota to support hospital staffing. Cases are up 25% in the last two weeks nationally, and up more than 40% in those states and 12 others. Overall, despite the arrival of vaccines in spring that can stop hospitalization and death, more Americans have died of COVID in 2021 than in 2020, the Times reported, as many unvaccinated people succumbed to the illness. Experts also say early relaxation of safety measures have contributed to the grim toll. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's weekly epidemiological update shows Europe is still the only region with cases rising on a weekly basis. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.5 million and has suffered 466,584 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 613,066 and 22 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 262,733 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 144,579.

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