World

US sees record infections in 24 hours for third straight day

WASHINGTON: The US notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day running.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University showed the world's worst-hit country reached nearly 230,000 new infections and 2,527 Covid-related deaths on Saturday alone.

For two weeks, the US has regularly topped 2,000 deaths a day. US health officials warned of a surge after millions travelled to celebrate last week's Thanksgiving despite pleas from the authorities to stay home.

California's two most densely inhabited regions and its agricultural breadbasket were scheduled to be under stay-at-home orders by yesterday as the pandemic strains hospitals in the most populous US state, officials said.

The order affecting Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will close bars, hair salons, and allows restaurants to remain open only for takeout and delivery service.

The pandemic has also increased the number of children going hungry in the US.

Nearly 12 per cent of adults said they lived in a household where there was not enough to eat "sometimes" or "often" last month, according to the Commerce Department.

Ten per cent of mothers reported their children under the age of five went hungry to some degree in October and November, a Brookings Institution survey found.

Non-profit Feeding America estimates over 50 million people will be food insecure this year, including one in four children.

"We feel pretty confident in saying food insecurity right now is the highest on record in the modern era," said Brookings economic studies fellow Lauren Bauer. - AFP, REUTERS

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