The Johns Hopkins Resource Center reported early Saturday that there are more than 84 million global COVID-19 cases. The U.S. continues to have more cases than anyplace else with more than 20 million infections, approximately one-fourth of the world’s cases. India records the second-highest toll, with more than 10 million cases, followed by Brazil with 7.7 million.
British health officials are reactivating emergency hospitals that were built at the start of the pandemic as the country struggles to cope with the spread of a more infectious variant of the coronavirus.
A spokeswoman for Britain’s National Health Service said health workers are preparing to reopen London’s Nightingale hospitals should the need arise, according to Reuters news agency. The temporary Nightingale hospitals were set up by the military in locations around the city and have remained on standby after receiving little use during the first wave of the coronavirus.
On Friday, Britain recorded 53,285 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That is down slightly from the previous day’s record of 55,892, but it is the fourth day in a row that new infections have surpassed 50,000. That is about double the daily number only a few weeks ago.
British health officials say the spike in new cases is the result of the new variant of the coronavirus, first identified in England, which is more contagious.
The new strain has led to renewed lockdowns in Britain as well as global travel restrictions on travelers from Britain.
The New York Times reported Friday that 33 countries have now detected the new coronavirus variant and more than 40 countries have barred travelers arriving from Britain.
Turkey became the latest country on Friday to ban Britons from entering the country after detecting 15 cases of the new coronavirus variant. Turkey said all of the new cases were recent arrivals from Britain.
The Philippines said it would prohibit the entry of foreign travelers from the United States after the new coronavirus variant was detected in Florida. Officials say the ban will last until January 15.
Florida is the third U.S. state to detect the new coronavirus variant after Colorado and California.
France has the highest COVID-19 case count in Western Europe with more than 2.6 million, according to Hopkins.
France deployed more than100,000 police to stop end-of-the-year celebrations, but partygoers in northwestern France, near Rennes, staged a massive illegal rave.
Police were deployed to the area to break up the gathering but were met with resistance when the revelers threw bottles and stones at the officers and set a police vehicle on fire, according to The New York Times.
Ireland said Friday it had underreported coronavirus cases in recent days by more than 9,000, as its reporting system came under strain. The country reported a daily record of 1,754 confirmed cases Friday.
Italy reported 462 new virus deaths Friday. The country has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe at more than 74,600, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In China, two major airports in the country’s northeast are requiring departing passengers to show a negative test result before they can board their planes.
The new procedures at airports in Shenyang and Dalian come as the country seeks to halt a small but persistent outbreak of COVID-19 cases north of the capital, Beijing. On Friday, China reported 19 new virus cases, including 10 that were brought from outside the country.
Source: Voice of America