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China records highest daily Covid-19 cases since April, sparking fears of second wave

This comes as more than 16 million cases were recorded globally – with 5 million of them recorded since the beginning of July.

People wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus watch the film
People wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus watch the film "Dolittle" at a movie theatre in Beijing.
Image: Mark Schiefelbein via PA Images

CHINA HAS RECORDED 61 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily figure since April – propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave.

This comes as the global number of Covid-19 cases crossed 16 million yesterday, as more than five million global cases have been declared since July, which represents a third of the total number of cases since the pandemic began. 

The United States remains the worst hit country, registering over 4 million infections and over 146,000 dead.

Meanwhile, a survey showed governments are fast losing support for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly a third of the world’s 16 million infections have been registered since 1 July, while the total death toll nears 640,000.

The World Health Organization said more than a million cases had been recorded in each of the last five weeks, “with over 280,000 being reported on July 24 alone”.

“While no country is unaffected, this rise is driven by high transmission in large and populous countries in the Americas and South Asia,” it said in a statement on Saturday.

Cases across the world

The bulk of China’s new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, according to the National Health Commission, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July.

Chinese authorities have rolled out mass testing for hundreds of thousands of people in the port city of Dalian.

A second wave of mass testing was also launched in Xinjiang’s Urumqi on Sunday to detect residents who had previously tested false negative, reported the State-run Global Times, following a mass testing effort earlier this month.

It is the highest daily tally of new virus cases since April 14, when 89 cases, mostly imported, were recorded.

covid-19-hk-five-conservative-days-of-infection-cases-over-100 Security tapes are used to prevent entering on the path to the beach in Hong Kong. Source: May James via PA Images

Brazil and India had recently reported their highest daily increases, it added, while the figures remained worryingly high in the United States and South Africa – where Trade Minister Ebrahim Patel tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

The US, still the hardest-hit nation, on Friday reported its second straight day of more than 70,000 new cases and over 1,000 deaths as the virus surges in the south and west.

Europe remains the hardest-hit continent, accounting for a fifth of the world’s case count.

Belgium has said it could further tighten its restrictions following the death of a three-year-old girl, the country’s youngest victim of the virus.

Recent outbreaks in the Spanish regions of Aragon and Catalonia have led to fresh curbs on daily life.

Many tourists were nevertheless reluctant to cancel their plans.

“If we cancelled our holiday, which has been planned since February, we would lose the rental money,” said Fanny Lievens, on route with her family to Catalonia from the southern French city of Montpellier.

In France, where infections have been rising, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on-the-spot testing for travellers arriving from 16 high-risk nations.

But he told Nice Matin newspaper he wanted above all else to avoid returning to a full lockdown because of the economic damage it did – and the psychological harm that many people suffered.

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covid-19-cases-surge-to-nearly-2000-in-hong-kong-china-26-jul-2020 An elderly man in Hong Kong walks across the street while wearing a face mask. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Britain meanwhile has made it compulsory to wear a face covering in shopping centres, banks, takeaway outlets, sandwich shops and supermarkets.

And it announced on Saturday it was reimposing two weeks of self-isolation on travellers arriving from Spain after a surge in cases there.

Trust in governments

As governments worldwide struggle to contain the virus despite long and economically crippling lockdowns imposed on millions of people, a new survey suggested that faith in authorities is dwindling in six rich nations.

Populations in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden and the US widely believed death and infection figures to be higher than recorded, according to the study, which polled 1,000 people in each nation.

“In most countries this month, support for national governments is falling,” said the report by the Kekst CNC communications consultancy.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, widely criticised for his handling of the crisis there, appeared to credit an unproven treatment for his recovery from the virus.

In an photo accompanying the statement, he was pictured holding a packet of hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness against Covid-19 has not been demonstrated in clinical trials.

And in the streets of Jerusalem and other cities, thousands called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, in part for his management of the coronavirus crisis after a spike in cases there.

© – AFP, 2020 

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