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More than 16 million infections globally: Report

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PARIS: The global number of coronavirus cases crossed 16 million yesterday, more than half of them in the Americas and the Caribbean, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

The 16,050,223 cases include 645,184 fatalities, with the United States as the worst hit country, registering 4,178,021 infections and 146,460 dead.

Florida yesterday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the outbreak, according to a Reuters tally.

Total cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 yesterday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases.

New York is in third place with 415,827 cases. Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any US state at more than 32,000, with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths.

On average, Florida has added more than 10,000 cases a day this month while California has been adding 8,300 cases a day and New York has been adding 700 cases.

Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 4,328,915 cases and 182,501 dead followed by Europe on 3,052,108 cases and 207,734 dead.

The spread of the pandemic continues to accelerate and more than five million cases have been declared this month, representing a third of the total number of cases since the pandemic began.

The World Health Organisation says more than a million cases had been recorded in each of the last five weeks, with over 280,000 being reported on July 24 alone.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases while others still have limited testing capacity.

New Year's Eve celebrations on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro have been cancelled as Brazil grapples with a spiralling virus crisis.

"There is no great reason to celebrate, with more than 80,000 deaths" from coronavirus in Brazil, an official said.

In India, millions of migrant workers who fled cities when the virus hit say they are too scared to return.

Asia's third largest economy has reported more than 1.3 million virus cases and is the third worst hit behind US and Brazil.

"We are trying our best to bring back migrant workers, even going to the extent of giving them air tickets, Covid-19 health insurance ... (and) weekly checkups by doctors," real estate developer Rajesh Prajapati said.

"But it has not reaped any positive signs yet." - AFP, REUTERS