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Record numbers of coronavirus cases in every global region: Reuters tally

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(Last Updated On: July 26, 2020)

Almost 40 countries have reported record single-day increases in coronavirus infections over the past week, around double the number that did so the previous week, according to a Reuters tally showing a pick-up in the pandemic in every region of the world.

The rate of cases has been increasing not only in countries like the United States, Brazil and India, which have dominated global headlines with large outbreaks, but in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel, among others.  

Many countries, especially those where officials eased earlier social distancing lockdowns, are experiencing a second peak more than a month after recording their first.

“We will not be going back to the ‘old normal’. The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week.

“We’re asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life-and-death decisions – because they are.”

The Reuters data, compiled from official reports, shows a steady rise in the number of countries reporting record daily increases in the virus that causes COVID-19 over the past month. 

At least seven countries recorded such increases three weeks ago, rising to at least 13 countries two weeks ago to at least 20 countries last week and to 37 countries this week.

The true numbers of both cases and deaths are almost certainly underreported, particularly in countries with poorer health care systems, health experts and officials say. 

For this report, the Reuters data was restricted to countries that provide regular daily numbers.

A surge in cases usually precedes a rise in deaths by a couple of weeks.

The United States remains at the top of the case list, this week passing more than 4 million cases and recording more than 1,000 deaths for four consecutive days. Brazil and India – which epidemiologists say is still likely months from hitting its peak – have also exceeded 1 million cases.

The data reveals a growing number of resurgent cases in countries across all regions.

In Australia, officials enforced a six-week partial lockdown and made face masks mandatory for residents in the country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, after a fresh outbreak.

Australia and Japan, which also posted a daily case record this week, both warned of a rise in infections among young people, many of whom celebrated the end of social restrictions at bars and parties.

In Mexico, which also posted a daily record this week and has the fourth-highest death toll of any country, officials warned that a downward trend in case numbers that began in mid-June – about the time the city began relaxing social distancing measures – could reverse.

Based on the rate of hospital admissions over the past week, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said, hospitalization levels by October could exceed those registered in June, the height of the pandemic.

“It is important to recognize that if we do not change the trend, there could be exponential growth,” she said.

In Europe, where the summer vacation season is in full swing, a new daily record figure in Spain is likely to deter tourists from visiting one of the continent’s most popular destinations.

In Africa, Kenya recorded a record high daily case number less than two weeks after reopening activity, including domestic passenger flights. President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had announced international flights would resume on August 1, has summoned officials to an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the surge in cases.

In the Middle East, Oman imposed new restrictions that begin on Saturday in addition to a two-week lockdown that will overlap the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha after reporting a record number of cases.

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Imran Khan accuses India of sponsoring terrorism inside Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: November 14, 2020)

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan Saturday claimed that his country has provided “irrefutable evidence” of India’s sponsored terrorism inside Pakistan.

Pakistan reportedly has submitted the evidence to the United Nations. Khan also warned that Pakistan “cannot remain indifferent or silent.”

“Details of financial and material support and Indian state’s direct involvement in terrorism have been given to the world which, in the face of this evidence, cannot remain indifferent or silent,” Khan tweeted.

“We expect the international community to force India to end its terrorism & bring to justice those responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in Pakistan.” 

“Our resilient and courageous security agencies & forces will continue to give their all to protect our people,” the Pakistani Prime Minister stated.

“Let there be no doubt anywhere that we know how to defend our country and will continue to do so with our combined national resolve,” he noted.

India has not commented in this regard yet.

India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed countries, have frequently accused each other of supporting terrorists and targeting the other.

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Trump fires US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

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(Last Updated On: November 10, 2020)

US President Donald Trump said on Monday night he had “terminated” Defense Secretary Mark Esper, appearing to use his final months in office after his election defeat to settle scores within his administration, Reuters reported.

Trump and Esper were known to have different opinions on a range of issues and had been particularly angered by Esper’s public opposition to Trump’s threats to use active duty military forces in the past few months to suppress street protests over racial injustice after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Trump, said in a post on Twitter late Monday night that “Mark Esper has been terminated,” and that Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will become acting secretary of defense “with immediate effect”. 

According to Reuters, the Senate would be highly unlikely to confirm any new nominee before Trump leaves office in January.

According to Reuters, the Pentagon had no immediate comment.

Sources said Esper had long been preparing for the prospect of his resignation or dismissal following last week’s election, particularly if Trump were to win a second term in office.

Trump has meanwhile steadfastly refused to acknowledge his election loss.

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Biden beats Trump to become next American president

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(Last Updated On: November 7, 2020)

Democratic Joe Biden has become the 46th president of the USA, American media reports indicate. 

Biden has projected calm and compassion promised a more empathetic and scientific approach to the pandemic and pledged to stabilize American politics after four years of Donald Trump’s White House chaos.

Biden, who turns 78 at the end of this month, will become the oldest president when he is inaugurated in January in the midst of the worst public health crisis in 100 years, the deepest economic slump since the 1930s and a national reckoning on racism and police brutality that is still unresolved, CNN reports.

Biden’s win will end Trump’s tumultuous hold on Washington and condemn the Republican, who has had a lifelong obsession with winning, to the ranks of chief executives who lost after a single term, CNN stated. 

As he watched his hopes of reelection being strangled with each tranche of votes in Pennsylvania, Trump lashed out on Twitter during the tense vote count, attempting to undermine democratic institutions with demands like “STOP THE COUNT.”

The President falsely claimed the election was being stolen from him as many mail-in ballots, which were often counted after Election Day votes, landed in the column of his opponent.

“There will not be blue states and red states when we win. Just the United States of America,” Biden said Wednesday afternoon. 

“We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart.”

Biden again asked for patience from his supporters on Thursday afternoon. “Stay calm. The process is working,” he said.

“Each ballot must be counted. … Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience, as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that is the envy of the world.”

 

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