The United States posted a record 53,000 new coronavirus cases as the deadly pandemic accelerated across the Americas, but its slowdown in Europe led Britain to announce yesterday the first exemptions to its quarantine rules.
With Europe looking to turn the page on the biggest public health crisis in modern history, travelers arriving into Britain from Germany, France, Spain and Italy will no longer be required to self-isolate starting July 10.
Beijing has contained transmission of a new coronavirus outbreak and will lift travel restrictions on most residents at midnight, city authorities said yesterday, weeks after a new wave of infections broke out in the Chinese capital.
Touching almost every country on Earth, Covid-19 -- the disease brought on by the virus -- has hit at least 10.8 million people and killed more than 521,000 globally, shattering previously buoyant economies and bringing public life to a standstill.
Yet while much of the planet pursued a return to some semblance of normality, the United States soared past 50,000 new infections Thursday for the second time in two days, casting a grim pall over its upcoming Independence Day celebrations.
Now the epicenter of the pandemic, the country has recorded nearly 129,000 deaths out of more than 2.7 million cases. It's expected to record its three millionth infection next week.
Florida, which now has more than 169,000 cases, is a key focus of public health experts who worry about a surge in southern and western US states.
In Texas, where more than 2,500 people have died, Governor Greg Abbott ordered people in counties with 20 or more cases to wear masks and banned gatherings of more than 10.
The move came after Texas reported nearly 8,000 new cases on Thursday, amid a record spike in infections that led to the governor largely halting the reopening program that started in early May.
Cases have been skyrocketing across Latin America.
Brazil, the region's largest economy, has almost 1.5 million confirmed cases, second only to the United States. The country was nearing 61,000 deaths yesterday.