More than half a million people have died in the coronavirus pandemic, an AFP tally showed Sunday, as bars in Los Angeles were ordered to close again due to surging cases in the United States.
The worldwide number of recorded infections is now just over 10 million from the virus that first emerged in China late last year, with fears growing of a full-blown second wave. The rate of contagion has doubled since May 21.
One million new infections were recorded in just six days, according to the AFP count based on official sources, even as some countries loosen punishing lockdowns that have devastated their economies and thrown millions out of work.
The United States, the hardest-hit country, has more than 2.5 million cases alone, and efforts to reopen the world’s biggest economy have been set back by a jump in new infections in big states such as Florida and California.
President Donald Trump was under growing pressure to set an example by wearing a face mask as his health secretary warned the “window is closing” for the country to gain control of the situation.
The disease is also rampaging through Latin America, where Brazil alone has over 1.3 million cases.
Infections are up too in some other parts of the world that have reopened, with Europe registering a caseload of over 2.6 million, although daily rates have stabilised.