COVID-19 cases surging by 1 million every 2 days with 50% in Europe

Nov. 1 (UPI) — Coronavirus cases are increasing by about one million every two days, with more than half in Europe where nations are enacting restrictions, including lockdowns, in attempts to control the pandemic that began early this year.

Since the first death was announced in Wuhan, China, in January, the outbreak has grown to 46,659,846 cases and 1,203,505 deaths, according to tracking by Worldometers.info.

Cases have increased by 292,006 so far Sunday after a record 573,800 on Friday and 475,384 more on Saturday. Cases have been increasing dramatically, surpassing 300,000 on Sept. 4, 400,000 on Oct. 15 and 500,000 on Wednesday.

Deaths have not been increasing so dramatically. The high was 8,244 on April 15 and they were 7,512 on Friday then 6,504 Saturday and 3,762 so far Sunday. The previous high was 7,308 on July 22.

The resurgence has occurred mainly in Europe, where nearly half the world’s cases, 235,000, occurred Saturday with deaths rising by 2,454. So far Sunday, cases have increased 165,282 and deaths by 1,565.

Europe holds four of the top 10 spots for most deaths: No. 5 Britain with 46,717, No. 6 Italy with 38,826, No. 7 France with 36,788 and No. 8 Spain with 35,878.

The United States for months has had the most deaths (230,732) and most cases (9,158,275) so far Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has the record for the most cases in one day, 101,461, which surpassed more than 97,000 in India, which is second for most cases (8,184,083) and third in deaths (122,111).

European nations have been reporting record numbers of infections but not the most deaths though fatalities are spiking.

On Saturday, Britain reported 162 deaths with the daily high 1,172, as well as 23,254 cases one week after a record 26,688. Italy, which at one time was the world’s epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 208 Sunday, one day after 297, which is the most since 370 on May 6, and 289,907 cases, one day after a record 31,758 cases. France announced 223 deaths and 35,641 cases Saturday, six days after a record 52,010. No. 8 Spain reported no data Saturday but 239 deaths and a record 25,595 cases Friday.

Germany, Belgium and Netherlands at one time were in the top 10.

On Sunday, No. 18 Belgium reported 173 deaths to climb to 11,625, the most since 181 on April 23, as well as 16,915 cases two days after a record 23,921.

Also Sunday, No. 20 Germany reported 12 deaths to rise to 10,595 in 20th and 4,654 cases for a total of 536,444. The nation set a record with 18,367 Friday. But Germany has not had more than 100 deaths in one day since 123 on May 13.

The Netherlands is in 24th place for fatalities, adding, 39, as well as 8,683 cases after a record 11,119 on Friday. The nation on Friday reported 87 deaths, the most since 94 on May 2.

Britain has reported more than 160,000 cases in one week. The kingdom will be locked down for the second time, starting on Thursday and lasting one month after a parliamentary vote this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday.

“We must act now to contain the autumn surge,” he said during a news conference Saturday evening.

People will only be able to leave their homes for education, work, shopping for food, health reasons, and exercise and recreation outdoors with that person’s household or with one person from another household.

Besides discouraging all non-essential travel abroad, closed will be pubs, restaurants and non-essential businesses, including hair salons and gyms. Schools, universities and playgrounds will stay open.

Other European nations also are adding restrictions.

France began a minimum of a four-week lockdown on Friday. Venturing outside will be allowed “to work, to go to a medical appointment, to care for a relative, to shop for essential goods and to get some air,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “The virus is circulating at a speed that even the most pessimistic had not predicted.”

Germany decided last week to impose a lockdown Monday, including the closure of bars, restaurants and cafes, theaters and concert halls, as well as amateur and recreational sports facilities.

Protests against the restrictions took place Saturday throughout Germany.

Belgium, starting Sunday night will impose a six-week lockdown, including the closure of non-essential stores, hair salons and restaurants, as well as mandatory masks in outdoor gatherings. Schools remain on vacation until Nov. 15.

“We are going back into a strict lockdown, which has only one purpose: to ensure that our healthcare system does not collapse,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Friday.

Italy is considering lockdowns in provincial “red zones” and limiting travel between regions.

Spain has declared a national state of emergency with a night-time curfew between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. enacted one week ago Sunday night. The measure applies to all regions except the Canary Islands.

Coronavirus has broadly stabilized in Asia where the pandemic began in Mainland China, which now ranks 34th and hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and 24 cases Sunday.

In all in Asia, 1,316 deaths were reported on Sunday for a total of 244,250 and 79,100 cases for a total of 13,757,143, the most for a continent in the world.

The outbreak is mainly raging in India and Iran.

India reported 46,964 cases, far below the record of 97,894, for a total of 8,184,083. Also, 470 deaths were reported, behind a national-record 1,299, for a total of 122,111. In one month fatalities rose by 26,169 to 35,298.

Iran set a record with 434 deaths Sunday and is in ninth place in the world plus 7,719 cases, below a record 8,293 three days ago. On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced new restrictions, including the closures of cinemas, cafes, gyms and pools in those counties for 10 days in 46 counties in 25 of the nation’s 31 provinces.

In the Far East, South Korea has reported only nine deaths in one week, including two Sunday, for a total of 457. Japan announced 11 fatalities and a rise of 55 in one week for a total of 1,766.

South America has six nations in the top 20 for most deaths: Brazil in second with 159,902 deaths, Peru in 10th with 34,476, Columbia in 11th with 31,314, Argentina in 12th with 31,002, Chile in 15th with 14,207 and Ecuador in 17th with 12,670.

On Saturday, the continent reported 913 deaths for a total of 294,851 and 43,150 cases for a total of 9,677,531.

Brazil’s health minister was hospitalized Friday with coronavirus. Although he tested positive, Eduardo Pazuello met with President Jair Bolsonaro in a hotel room, with a social media video showing the two without masks. Bolsonaro tested positive for the virus in July and has downplayed the severity of the outbreak.

In North America, all but around 15,000 of the 353,186 deaths deaths have occurred in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including an additional 1,525 Saturday. Cases total 11,270,476, including 99,252 Saturday.

Canada is 22nd for deaths with 10,136, including 26 Saturday. Infections rose by 2,512, less than the record of 4,109 Thursday. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000 cases.

The travel restrictions among Canada, Mexico and U.S. are in place until Nov. 21. It began on March 18.

In Oceania, Australia has increased by two deaths in one week with New Zealand at 25 since one on Sept. 16.

On Sunday, New Zealand reported two cases for a total of 1,959, which is 26 in one week, and Australia up five for 27,595, an increase of 75 in seven days.

“The 1st national zero community transmission day since June 9,” Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt posted Sunday on Twitter. “Thank you to all of our amazing health & public health workers & above all else the Australian people.”

Melbourne ended its 111-day lockdown on Wednesday.

In Africa, there have been 43,071 deaths and 1,802,630 cases.

South Africa leads the continent with 19,276 deaths, including 46 more Saturday followed by Egypt at 6,266 with eight more. South Africa has the 12th-most cases in the world at 725,452, including 1,770 more Saturday.

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