US notches record 68,428 new virus cases in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Thursday set yet another record for new coronavirus cases with 68,428 infections recorded in 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

In that period the death toll also climbed by 974 people, the Baltimore-based university s tracker showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Friday).

That brought the total death toll in the country since the pandemic began to 138,201, and the total number of cases to 3,560,364.

The US remains the hardest-hit country in the world in absolute terms.

Experts believe it never emerged from its first wave of infections, and cases have been surging again in recent weeks, particularly across the south and west in states that pushed to lift lockdown restrictions early.

Florida has emerged as the epicenter of the US outbreak, reporting a record 156 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and nearly 14,000 new infections.

The total number of virus cases in the “Sunshine State” has now surpassed 315,000, and there have been 4,782 deaths, according to Florida Department of Health figures.

Florida is now reporting more COVID-19 cases daily than any other state in the country. California and Texas are next, with about 10,000 new cases a day each.

– Brazil surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases –

Brazil topped two million coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to official data that put the number of deaths at more than 76,000.

Figures published by the health ministry showed there were more than 45,000 new cases over the last 24 hours, and an extra 1,300 deaths.

Brazil is the second worst affected country in the world by the coronavirus after the United States.

And these figures are considered largely under-reported by many in the scientific community who point to a lack of testing.

Over the last two months, Brazil has recorded more than 30,000 new cases in 24 hours 26 times, and on 11 of those occasions there were more than 40,000 infections.

“Two million is a symbolic number because we don t have wide scale testing,” infectious disease expert from the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Jean Gorinchteyn told AFP.

“There are probably four or five times more. The most pessimistic projections signal up to 10 times more.”

The average number of daily deaths has been over 1,000 for almost a month.

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