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Dec. 2, 2021, 6:24 a.m. EST

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 263.6 million and U.S. to stick with face mask mandate on public transport

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By Ciara Linnane

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 263.6 million on Tuesday, while the death toll edged above 5.22 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 48.7 million cases and 782,100 deaths. The U.S. is still averaging more than 900 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, , and cases and hospitalizations are rising again. The White House will announce later Thursday that it plans to stick with face mask mandates on public transportation, including planes, buses and trains, and will not allow the requirement to lapse on Jan. 18 as planned, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move is part of tighter travel restrictions aimed at containing the new omicron variant, and includes requiring that travelers into the U.S. provide a negative PCR test conducted 24 hours before departure, and not the 72 hours currently required. The government will also make at-home, COVID-19 tests available and make sure they are covered by private insurers or offered free at health centers. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.6 million and has suffered 469,724 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 614,964 and 22.1 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 272,279 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 145,586.

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