WHO reports record spike in virus cases for second straight day

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GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) 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 US, 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 this month, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day last month.

Total global cases surpassed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally. The disease has killed nearly 600,000 people in seven months.

The surge means that one million cases were reported in under 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.

Indonesia reported 127 deaths yesterday, the highest single-day death toll since the outbreak, according to the National Covid-19 Task Force, Jakarta Globe reported.

The country's death toll stood at 4,143 as of yesterday, although the actual figure could be a lot more than the government's tally as deaths from probable cases were not included.

Confirmed cases rose by 1,639 yesterday, taking the country's total to 86,521.

The Philippines' health department yesterday reported 58 deaths and 2,241 infections.Total deaths there now stand at 1,831, with 67,456 confirmed cases, it said in a bulletin.

In Australia, Melbourne will make it compulsory to wear a mask in public from midnight Wednesday, the authorities announced yesterday.

Victoria state, which includes Melbourne, now has nearly 3,000 active cases after a further 363 infections were reported yesterday despite a 10-day lockdown.

Australia has reported almost 12,000 cases nationwide and 122 deaths in a population of about 25 million.

Iranian health officials yesterday sought to play down President Hassan Rouhani's estimate that some 25 million people have been infected.

They said it was based on serological blood tests that measure exposure to the illness and that cannot be relied on to show the current state of disease.

The 25 million figure put forward by Mr Rouhani on Saturday is nearly a third of the population and massively higher than the official number of cases, which rose to 273,788 yesterday. - REUTERS, JAKARTA POST