Coronavirus: Global cases pass 25m as India sets single-day record for infections

World round-up: Not all classrooms in France can safely reopen on Tuesday, minister says

More than 25 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded worldwide with more than 842,700 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The global pace of new infections has steadied a little. It has taken about three weeks for the caseload to jump by 5 million cases to 25 million. That compared with the 19, 24 and 39 days it took, respectively, to add 5 million cases to the 20 million, 15 million and 10 million marks. The rate of new daily cases has slowed to around 1.2 per cent over August so far. That compared with 1.7 per cent in July, 1.8 per cent in June, 2.1 per cent in May, 4.6 per cent in April and 7.7 per cent in March. Health experts stress that official data almost certainly underreports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity. While Covid-19’s trajectory still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10 per cent of patients, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

The following is a summary of the latest developments on the virus around the world:


India set a single-day record of 78,761 cases, according to data from the health ministry. The US had set the previous highest number of 77,638 on July 17th, according to Agence-France Presse.


The total number of cases in India went past the 3.5 million mark and the death toll exceeded 63,000, according to government data.

India is third in the world behind the US and Brazil in terms of infections and fourth for fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Despite the surging case numbers, prime minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for a return to normalcy to lessen the economic pain of the pandemic, having imposed a strict early lockdown of the country’s 1.3 billion people in March. The government announced on Saturday that it will reopen underground train networks - a lifeline for millions in the capital city of New Delhi - and allow sports and religious events in a limited manner from next month.

Metro rail services have been permitted to resume in a graded manner from September 7th. Social, political and cultural and religious gathering with a limit of 100 people permitted from September 21st as per the new guidelines. States won’t be allowed to impose local lockdown within state or city limits other than in containment zones. Schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed until September 30th.


The US added 47,860 virus cases Friday, a 0.8 per cent rise compared with the average 0.7 per cent daily increase of the previous seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The total is 5,913,913.

Another 975 deaths were reported, after three days of increases over 1,000, the data show. Total fatalities are 181,789.

The number of new coronavirus cases in Texas climbed by 4,732, or 0.8 per cent, to 606,530, the department of state health services said on its website, less than the 0.9 per cent average over the previous week. Deaths increased by 154 to 12,420. New infections have retreated from records of more than 10,000 a day at the peak of Texas’s outbreak in mid-July.

California reported 4,981 new virus cases, the lowest daily count since August 4th and below the 14-day average of 5,725. There have been 693,839 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, according to the health department’s website. Deaths climbed by 144 to 12,834.

Illinois governor JB Pritzker proclaimed a “solemn day” as Illinois surpassed 8,000 virus deaths, a day after the state increased the number of counties considered to be at a “warning level” to 30 from 20. Florida cases increased to 619,003 on Saturday, a rise of 0.5 per cent in line with the average daily increase of the previous week. Deaths among Florida residents reached 10,957, an increase of 148 and higher than the 89 reported the previous day, according to the state health department report, which includes data through Friday. New York hospitalisations dropped to a record 458, the smallest number since March 16th, governor Andrew Cuomo announced. The state now has 22 straight days with a positive-test rate under 1 per cent, he said in a statement.


Brazil, the country with the world’s second-highest number of infections, reported there were 758 deaths in the past 24 hours. The country also had 41,350 new cases. More than 3.8 million cases have been confirmed in the country while the number fatalities exceeded 120,000.


Mexico reported 5,974 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 591,712, according to data released by the health ministry on Saturday night. Covid-19 deaths rose by 673 to 63,819; there are 84,310 suspected cases.

Finance minister Arturo Herrera told ruling party lawmakers that next year’s budget will be tighter as the government seeks to rein in debt after steep losses in the peso this year, news site El Universal reported.


Berlin police clashed with far-right protesters and made about 200 arrests after tens of thousands of people rallied mostly peacefully against German restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Smaller protests were reported in London and Paris.

Demonstrators in Berlin held up signs saying “End the coronavirus dictatorship” and heard a protest leader call for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to resign.

An estimated 38,000 people took part in a march and rally near key federal government buildings on Saturday, broadcaster ARD cited the capital’s interior minister, Andreas Geisel, as saying. Daily cases in Germany are hovering near a four-month high, with 1,555 new infections reported on Saturday


The UK reported 1,108 new coronavirus cases bringing the total number of infections to 332,752. Cases have increasing by more than 1,000 a day for much of the past two weeks, raising concerns about the growing spread of the virus as the country prepares to reopen schools in the coming days.

The surge in cases has not been accompanied by a jump in fatalities, with only 12 new deaths reported Saturday, bringing the total to 41,498, the world’s fifth highest tally.

British health scretary Matt Hancock warned on Saturday that the country could face “very extensive” local lockdowns in the event of a second wave of coronavirus this winter. Mr Hancock told the Times he’s working under the “central scenario” that a vaccine will likely be available “some time next year.” Until then, he said the government will have to rely on three “lines of defense” to stop the spread of the coronavirus: social distancing, testing and tracing and local lockdowns.


France’s education minister has said not all classrooms in the country can safely reopen on Tuesday, amid a persistent rise in coronavirus infections that threatens the government’s push to get the nation’s 12.9 million pupils back to school. Jean-Michel Blanquer said: “It’s being decided by a day-by-day analysis based on the health situation of each territory.” France reported 5,453 new daily infections on Saturday, compared to several hundred a day in May and June. The national health service describes the growth as exponential, and neighbouring countries have imposed quarantines or testing for people arriving from parts or all of France.


Italy’s new virus cases declined to 1,444 on Saturday, the day after the nation reported its largest increase since May. Anti-migrant politicians have used the late-summer surge to try to drum up support for tighter border controls. The government of prime minister Giuseppe Conte was forced to clarify that migration policy is controlled from Rome after Sicily’s governor ordered migrant centers closed citing virus risk. An outbreak on the country’s other main island, Sardinia, has led authorities to draw up a contingency plan for tourists who’ve tested positive to return to the mainland on separate vessels, newspapers reported Saturday.


In Russia, the number of new cases held steady at 4,941. The daily figure has been below 5,000 for the last two weeks. The country recorded 111 deaths.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has embarked on the world’s biggest experiment in voluntary testing. Local media Radio Television Hong Kong said that as of 8am local time on Sunday, 310,000 people had already signed up for the free virus test. The two-week effort aims to reach a high percentage of its 7 million residents. Government ministers on Sunday stepped up their campaign, urging people to sign up as soon as possible, RTHK reported. Officials said more than 40 testing sites had already been fully booked on the launch day of the tests - and authorities will decide whether or not to extend the programme depending on the public’s response.Hong Kong’s government has distributed 160,000 test kits to front-line workers, including security guards and cleaners at property-management companies, it said in a statement. About 97,000 of the voluntary tests have been returned and five were positive for Covid-19.

In total, the city reported 18 new cases, two of which were imported, according to the city’s Center for Health Protection. Fatalities at public hospitals rose to 86.


New coronavirus cases in Australia’s state of Victoria returned to the triple digits on Sunday. Southeastern Victoria reported 114 new cases, a day after the daily tally fell to 94, its lowest in nearly two months. Its capital, Melbourne, is four weeks into a six-week hard lockdown that authorities have said may ease only gradually.The nation of 25 million has suffered about 25,600 infections and just over 600 deaths since the start of the year.

New Zealand

Australia’s closest neighbour, New Zealand, reported two new virus cases on Sunday, taking its tally of infections to 1,378, while the death toll stands at 22. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said curbs in Auckland would be eased from Monday, but would be tightened again if needed. Limits will stay on public gatherings and movement in Auckland, however, with masks made mandatory nationwide from Monday. The programme of curbs has worked well, Ardern said, telling a televised briefing, “It is designed to keep us on track with our elimination strategy.” Both New Zealand and Australia have proved far better able to rein in the spread of the virus than many other nations, moving swiftly to clamp down with social distancing measures. However, the high cost of the measures for both nations has been reflected in the largest loss in gross domestic product in decades.

South Korea

South Korea added 299 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours vs 323 a day earlier, raising the total tally to 19,699, according to data from Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yesterday’s numbers included 283 locally infected cases, bulk of that in Seoul. There were two more deaths, taking the total death tally to 323.


Iran reported 1,905 new cases on Saturday, its lowest daily total in three months and the first time since late May that the number was under 2,000. Fatalities fell for a sixth day to 110, the lowest since late June, according to the latest Health Ministry data.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia reported 987 new coronavirus cases and 27 deaths on Saturday, dipping below 1,000 new cases daily for the first time since mid-April.

The country has gradually managed to bring down daily new cases from a peak of nearly 5,000 in June, with masks mandated in public and international flights suspended since March. However its death rate has steadily crept up over the same time period, reaching 1.2 per cent on Saturday -- still among the lowest in the world.–Agencies