Wednesday saw the highest daily increase in global coronavirus cases, data shows, amid warnings the pandemic is accelerating.
Oxford University’s Our World in Data information shows a daily increase of 206,641 cases reported on Wednesday, the most in one day since the outbreak began. It was slightly higher than the 206,544 reported on 4 July.
Although daily cases and deaths have fallen well below their peak in the UK and many other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that across the world the pandemic is actually gathering pace.
“The outbreak is accelerating and we’ve clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said.
The real number of global COVID-19 cases will be higher due to testing limits. Our World in Data, a partnership between Oxford University researchers and non-profit Global Change Data Lab, sourced the figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In the US, more than 3 million infections have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic, with 131,000 deaths - about a fifth of the official global tally counted by Johns Hopkins University.
Cases have surged in states like California, Florida, Arizona and Texas in recent weeks.
However, president Donald Trump told the Fox Business channel: “I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus.
“I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”
Another Our World in Data chart visualises how badly the pandemic hit regions like Europe, but now Asia, North America, and South America are experiencing more confirmed cases daily.
Brazil has seen 1.5 million infections, though the real tally is likely to be higher due to a lack of widespread testing, and more than 65,000 deaths.
Its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has joined Boris Johnson in the list of leaders officially confirmed to have suffered a COVID-19 infection.
Bolsonaro has spent months playing down the coronavirus’ severity despite the rising death toll, which is now the second largest in the world by official tallies, behind only the US.
The UK is the third worst affected country by official death toll, followed by Italy, Mexico and France.
More than half a million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in African countries, with South Africa recording a daily rise of 10,000.
The real number is not known due to a shortage of testing materials, which the WHO’s Africa director said is a “tremendous problem”.
“With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of Covid-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating,” Matshidiso Moeti said Wednesday.
COVID-19 has killed more people on that continent than Ebola did between 2014 and 2016, the WHO said.
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