Record rise in global coronavirus cases for 2nd day in a row

Cases grow by 259,848 with largest increases from the US, Brazil, India and South Africa

The World Health Organisation on Saturday reported nearly 260,000 new cases of coronavirus across the world - a record rise for the second day in a row.
Medical workers tend to a Covid-19 patient at a hospital in New Delhi, India, July 17, 2020.
Medical workers tend to a Covid-19 patient at a hospital in New Delhi, India, July 17, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has 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 last 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 a day earlier.

Deaths rose by 7,360, the biggest one-day increase since May 10. Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day this month, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June.

Total global coronavirus cases surpassed 14 million last 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 one million cases were reported in less than 100 hours.

The WHO reported 71,484 new cases in the US, 45,403 in Brazil, 34,884 in India and 13,373 in South Africa last Saturday.

India last Friday became the third country in the world to record more than one million cases of the coronavirus, behind only the US and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak, with the current toll at 1.08 million.

Cases in Brazil crossed the two million mark last Thursday, doubling in less than a month with nearly 40,000 new cases a day, and stood at 2.08 million yesterday. 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 US, which leads the world with more than 3.8 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local levels with only limited success.


In Hong Kong, a record 108 new cases were confirmed yesterday, the finance hub's leader said as she tightened social distancing measures to tackle the surge in infections.

HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam said more than 500 infections had been confirmed in the last fortnight alone, nearly a third of the total since the outbreak began. Yesterday's new infections take the total there to 1,886 cases. "I think the situation is really critical and there is no sign the situation is being brought under control," she told reporters.

Indonesia has surpassed China in terms of the total number of coronavirus cases, after recording 1,639 cases yesterday and 1,752 new infections the previous day. The new tally for Indonesia is 86,521, while China reported 16 new cases to bring its total to 83,660.

Indonesian Health Ministry disease control and prevention director-general Achmad Yurianto also announced 127 more Covid-19 deaths, a record death toll that took overall Indonesian fatalities to 4,143.

Last Saturday, Mexico's Health Ministry also posted a record for new coronavirus cases on a single day, with 7,615 more confirmed cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 338,913. The ministry also reported 578 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 38,888 deaths.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, the Ministry of Health confirmed 257 new coronavirus cases as of noon yesterday, taking the country's total to 47,912. Among them are eight new community cases, comprising two Singaporeans, one work pass holder and five work permit holders.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2020, with the headline 'Record rise in global coronavirus cases for 2nd day in a row'. Print Edition | Subscribe