World

US crosses 10 million Covid cases as third wave of infections surges

UNITED STATES: The US became the first nation worldwide since the pandemic began to surpass 10 million coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally on Sunday, as the third wave of the Covid-19 virus surges across the nation.

The grim milestone came on the same day as global cases exceeded 50 million.

The US reported about a million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the nation reported its first coronavirus case in Washington state 293 days ago.

The country reported a record 131,420 cases on Saturday and has reported more than 100,000 infections five times in the past seven days, according to a Reuters tally.

The latest reported seven-day average of 105,600 daily cases, ramped up by at least 29 per cent, is more than the combined average for India and France, two of the worst affected in Asia and Europe.

More than 237,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 since the illness first emerged in China late last year.

The daily average of reported new deaths in the US account for one in every 11 deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis.

The number of reported deaths nationwide climbed by more than 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, a trend last seen in mid-August, according to a Reuters tally.

Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after a surge in infections.

US President-elect Joe Biden was scheduled to announce a 12-member task force yesterday to deal with the pandemic that will be led by former surgeon-general Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler.

The coronavirus task force will be charged with developing a blueprint for containing the disease once Mr Biden takes office in January.

The Midwest remains the hardest-hit based on cases per capita with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska as the top five worst-affected states.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared a new state of emergency on Sunday to address hospital overcrowding.

He said the entire state was under a mask mandate and social gatherings were being limited to household-only for the next two weeks. All extracurricular activities are on hold, he said. - REUTERS

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