Global coronavirus cases surged past 25 million on Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as India marked a worldwide record for daily new cases in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data showed steady global growth as the disease’s epicentre shifts again, with India taking centre stage from the United States and Latin America.
India’s single-day tally of 78,761 new coronavirus infections on Sunday exceeded the one-day increase of 77,299 reported by the United States in mid-July. The south Asian country’s surge took the global caseload to 25,074,751.
The official number of global coronavirus cases is now at least five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.
Around the world, there have been more than 840,000 deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.
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.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, is third behind, the United States and Brazil, in total caseload, but has consistently outpaced both in new daily cases since Aug. 7, according to a Reuters tally.
Despite the surging case numbers — bringing the total number of infections to over 3.5 million — 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, starting Sept. 7.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 127,673 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 113,501 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,151.
1/2 To date, labs across 🇨🇦 have tested 5,355,340 people for #COVID19, w an average ~2.3% positive overall, for a rate of 142,470 people tested per million population in Canada. https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo
Ontario reported an additional 148 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, making it the highest daily case count since July 24. The update brings the province’s total number of cases to 42,083 since the outbreak began in January.
In a series of tweets, Health Minister Christine Elliott said 27 of the province’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases. Of those, 18 have no new cases. Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa made up almost two-thirds of the new cases combined, recording 41, 32, and 20 positive COVID-19 infections, respectively. Windsor saw a significant increase in its cases with another 19 after recording only four cases on Friday.
In Manitoba, an outbreak has been declared at the Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon after a worker there tested positive for COVID-19, the province said in a news release. The site has been moved to the red, or “critical,” level in the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.
Fifty-five more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Manitoba as of Saturday morning, more than half of whom are in the Prairie Mountain Health region, the release said. The update brings Manitoba’s total active cases to 444, the release said.
WATCH | One third of Manitoba COVID-19 cases are in Hutterite communities:
Here’s what’s happening around the world
According to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases is now more than 25 million. More than 842,000 people have died while 16.4 million have recovered. Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world:
In the U.K., a union representing academic and professional support staff at universities is strongly urging the schools to scrap plans to reopen next month.
The University and College Union (UCU) says the government should step in and tell the schools to abandon plans for face-to-face teaching and move all teaching online for the first term.
“Moving a million plus students around the country is a recipe for disaster and risks leaving ill-prepared universities as the care homes of a second wave,” UCU general secretary Jo Grady said in a statement.
Stephen Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury, said he did not agree with the argument. “I think universities like the rest of the economy need to come back and students need to be able to do so,” he told Times Radio.
In France, the country’s education minister on Sunday acknowledged that not all French classrooms can safely reopen on Tuesday.
“It’s being decided by a day-by-day analysis based on the health situation of each territory,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Sunday on France-Info radio. Some classes will remain closed, he said, but “as few as possible.”
WATCH | France imposes mandatory outdoor masks as COVID-19 surges through Europe:
A collective of doctors published an appeal on Saturday saying government measures to protect students aren’t strict enough. It urged mask requirements for children as young as six and a mix of online and in-person schooling.
France reported 5,453 new daily infections Saturday, compared to several hundred a day in May and June. The national health service says the growth is exponential, and neighbouring countries have imposed quarantines or testing for people arriving from parts or all of France.
Newly reported coronavirus cases in Australia’s state of Victoria returned to the triple digits on Sunday as state Premier Daniel Andrews said it was too soon to put forward a reopening plan that would see Victoria into the weeks and months ahead.
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.
South Korea has reported 299 new cases of the coronavirus as officials placed limits on dining at restaurants and closed fitness centres and after-school academies in the greater capital area to slow the spread of the virus.
The 17th consecutive day of triple-digit increases brought the national caseload to 19,699, including 323 deaths.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 209 of the new cases came from the capital of Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi province as well as Incheon, a region that had been at the centre of a viral resurgence this month.
Health authorities have ordered churches and nightspots to close and shifted more schools back to remote learning nationwide as infections spiked in recent weeks.
For eight days starting Sunday, restaurants in the Seoul metropolitan area will be allowed to provide only deliveries and takeouts after 9 p.m. Franchised coffee shops like Starbucks will sell only takeout drinks and food.