Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on July 12

The latest:

  • WHO reports record increase in global coronavirus cases.
  • South Africa reinstates alcohol ban in bid to free up hospital beds.
  • India, Romania see record new infections.
  • How the pandemic caught Canada with its PPE stockpiles down.
  • Trump wears face mask in public for 1st time.
  • Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought.

Florida shattered the U.S. record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll also continued to rise.

According to state Department of Health statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded.

California had the previous record of daily positive cases — 11,694, set on Wednesday. New York had 11,571 on April 15.

The numbers come at the end of a grim, record-breaking week as Florida reported 514 fatalities — an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths per day. Since the pandemic began in March, 4,346 people have died in Florida of COVID-19, the state says.

Testing has doubled over the last month, going from about 25,000 tests per day to almost 50,000, but the percentage of people testing positive has risen even more dramatically. A month ago, fewer than five per cent of tests came up positive on a daily average. Over the past week, the daily average exceeded 19 per cent.

About 10.7 per cent of Saturday’s 143,000 tests came up positive. “I still think we need to increase our testing a little bit more,” said University of Florida epidemiologist Dr. Cindy Prins, adding that the state and local health departments should ramp up their contact tracing.

Prins said she’s still concerned that large crowds, gyms and some restaurants are places of mass transmission. Reports of illegal clubs and raves in South Florida are also a worry, she said.

“I really do think we could control this, and it’s the human element that is so critical. It should be an effort of our country. We should be pulling together when we’re in a crisis, and we’re definitely not doing it,” she said.

“I know people want to live their lives. There have been a lot of other times people have made those sacrifices in order to benefit our society. It’s almost like a war effort. That’s what we need right now.”

WATCH | What’s behind the surge of Covid-19 cases in Florida?:

Dr. Mary Jo Trepka is an infectious disease epidemiologist at Florida International and she speaks with John Northcott about the challenges Florida faces in combating the spread of this virus.  5:30

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN on Sunday that his county’s hospitals will soon reach capacity, but he said more beds can be added, including for intensive care.

“We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern,” he said.

Throughout May and into June, the state reopened much of its economy with some restrictions — and the number of positive cases began rising. But it wasn’t until the last week that the daily death total began rising, too.

WATCH | Long lines at COVID-19 test sites in Orlando:

Traffic is seen at a standstill as drivers wait at drive-thru COVID-19 test sites in the U.S. 1:11

Because of the increase in cases and the positivity rate, doctors have predicted a rise in deaths, saying the mortality rate usually increases two to four weeks later as some of those infected get sicker and eventually die. Health experts are concerned that people are gathering in crowds, and they have expressed concern that the Republican National Convention to nominate President Donald Trump will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., in August.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that even with the rising rates, he still wants schools to reopen as scheduled next month, saying children have not proven to be vectors for the disease in states and countries where campuses are open. He said while each county will have to come up with procedures, depending on their local infection rate, not opening schools would exacerbate the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students.

“We know there are huge, huge costs for not providing the availability of in-person schooling,” DeSantis said. “The risk of corona, fortunately, for students is incredibly low.”

What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada

As of 11:10 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 107,589 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 71,467 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 8,816.

Ontario reported 129 new cases on Sunday, bringing its total number to 36,723.

In Quebec, there were 114 new cases confirmed on Sunday, for a provincial total of 56,521.

People wear face masks as they commute on a metro in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press )

Newly released data from the City of Ottawa shows nine hair stylists and barbers received fines for opening during the COVID-19 shutdown. Four restaurants, two landscaping companies and one garden centre were also fined the standard $880, while two people received another $1,130 fine for obstruction of implementing those orders.

Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and thousands of litres of hand sanitizer and disinfectant to keep people safe at the polls on Oct. 26. The independent body says it’s working to source those supplies, at an expected cost of about $425,000.

Saskatchewan is the only province with a general election on the books this year. It’s also a province with a low infection rate. On Friday, 43 active cases were reported. But health officials have said there are concerns another wave of infections could arrive with cooler temperatures in the fall.

Calgary’s mayor is musing about the possibility of making masks mandatory in certain situations and says he could bring forward a draft bylaw to council on July 20. Naheed Nenshi says mask use indoors in Calgary is too low, particularly on public transit.

Nenshi is just one vote on council, so he can’t do anything on his own. He has said he could bring a proposed bylaw before council, who would have to vote for moving forward with it.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

The UN health agency said Sunday the U.S. again topped the list among countries, with more than 66,000 cases recorded. The figures don’t necessarily account for delays in reporting of cases, and are believed to far underestimate actual case totals.

Globally more than 12.7 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 566,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In Europe, Hungarian authorities said they have sorted countries into three categories — red, yellow and green — based on their rates of new coronavirus infections, and they will impose restrictions, including entry bans and mandatory quarantines, depending on which country people are arriving from.

Romania announced a record-high number of infections on Saturday, with 698, while 456 new cases were reported Sunday.

British authorities are locking down 200 workers at a vegetable farm in the English village of Mathon, south of Birmingham, after 73 workers tested positive for the virus.

A police officer wearing a face mask stands at the entrance to a farm that has been locked down in Mathon, U.K., on Sunday. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

In Asia-Pacific, Australia’s worst-hit Victoria state reported 273 new cases on Sunday, the sixth straight day of triple-digit increases.

South Korea reported 44 new cases, maintaining an uptick in new infections in the greater Seoul area and central cities.

India — which has the most cases after the U.S. and Brazil — saw a record surge of 28,637 cases reported in the past 24 hours. Authorities also announced a week-long lockdown beginning Tuesday in the key southern technology hub of Bangalore, where the offices of top tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are located.

A health worker conducts a COVID-19 test in Gauhati, India, on Sunday. (Anupam Nath/The Associated Press)

In the Americas, the ashes of 245 Mexican migrants who died of COVID-19 in New York have arrived back into their home nation.

A Mexican Air Force plane carrying the remains arrived at near midnight Saturday in what the Foreign Relations Department called an “unprecedented” effort. The urns were taken from the plane and placed on a table adorned with white flowers for a brief ceremony.

The Mexican government says more than 1,500 Mexican migrants have died of COVID-19 in the U.S., about half of them in New York.

Soldiers are seen beside boxes of cremated remains of Mexicans who died from COVID-19 in the U.S., during a welcoming ceremony at the tarmac of Benito Suarez International Airport in Mexico City on Saturday. (Fernando Llano/The Associated Press)

In Africa, the continent’s 54 countries have reported 577,904 cases, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat COVID-19 patients.

Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents, and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public.

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