The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with the total rising by 259,848 in 24 hours.
The biggest increases reported on Saturday were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 237,743 on Friday. Deaths rose by 7,360, the biggest one-day increase since May 10. Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day in July, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June.
Total global coronavirus cases surpassed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 600,000 people in seven months. The surge means that 1 million cases were reported in under 100 hours.
The WHO reported 71,484 new cases in the United States, 45,403 in Brazil, 34,884 in India and 13,373 in South Africa.
India on Friday became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the United States and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.
Cases in Brazil crossed the 2 million mark on Thursday, doubling in less than a month and adding nearly 40,000 new cases a day. A patchwork of state and city responses has held up poorly in Brazil in the absence of a tightly coordinated policy from the federal government.
The United States, which leads with world with over 3.7 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local levels with only limited success.
U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus neared 140,000 on Saturday as cases continued to rise in 43 out of 50 states over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
Since late June, the United States has seen a resurgence in new cases and now, six weeks later, deaths have also begun rising, according to a weekly Reuters analysis of state and county data.
America is losing about 5,000 people to the virus every week. By contrast, neighboring Canada has reported total deaths of 8,800 since the pandemic started.
In just one week, the United States records about as many deaths as the 5,600 lives Sweden has lost since the pandemic began earlier this year.
In the hardest-hit U.S. counties, officials are running out of places to store bodies as their morgues fill up.
Arizona’s Maricopa County, home to the state’s largest city, Phoenix, is bringing in 14 coolers to hold up to 280 bodies and more than double morgue capacity ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus fatalities, officials said on Thursday.
In Texas, the city of San Antonio and Bexar County have acquired five refrigerated trailers to store up to 180 bodies.
The appearance of such mobile morgues has fed the sense in some Southern states that the pandemic appears to be spinning out of control.