COVID-19 world updates: Canada watches with concern as U.S. loses battle against coronavirus
Although Canada continues to manage the spread of COVID-19 as provinces progress with their reopening plans, Canadian health officials are carefully watching what is happening south of the border with much concern.
The worldwide cumulative total is over 11.5 million, with over 535,400 deaths.
The U.S. has had approximately 2.9 million cases and over 130,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Several states and the country as a whole have been repeatedly setting new record highs for daily confirmed cases. The most recent record for the nation was 54,000 new cases on July 2.
In comparison, the previous peak was 36,400 cases, on April 24.
In addition, health officials fear that July 4 celebrations may fuel further spikes, which could determine the trajectory of the coronavirus curve.
U.S. disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci stated on July 2 that the U.S. is losing the battle against the coronavirus and that many states reopened too soon.
Hospitals in several states are reporting being overwhelmed and near capacity.
Canada’s chief public-health officer Dr. Theresa Tam stated today (July 6) that there has been a cumulative total of 105,536 COVID-19 cases in Canada (with 66 percent recovered), and 8,684 deaths.
During an update from Dr. Tam and deputy chief public-health officer Dr. Howard Njoo on July 3, Dr. Njoo said that they are very concerned and are closely monitoring the situation in U.S.
“Here in Canada, we can say that this is a good lesson, because what is happening in the United States really highlights something for us in Canada,” Dr. Njoo said, in a translation from French. “We know that when we start lessening our measures, it will be very important in all provinces and territories for public-health authorities to know that this reopening must be done with much caution, because we can see that the same thing could happen to us as what is happening in many states south of the border.”
He said that they continue to have discussions with provincial and territorial counterparts.
“Our policies are based on public-health information, and we know that there is an artificial boundary between cities and rural regions, and when it comes to borders in general we use two principles,” he explained. “If the epidemiology is about the same on both sides of that border and if the ability to track and protect and do the contact tracing to the same extent on both sides of that border, then we consider that measures could be lessened, could be relaxed for that border.”
Four provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador—formed the Atlantic travel bubble, which began on July 3.
Unfortunately, travellers from the U.S. have brought new COVID-19 cases into the region.
However, P.E.I. announced five cases on July 4 and 5, which are linked to a traveller from the U.S. in Nova Scotia—a man from P.E.I. came into contact with the traveller from the U.S. before returning to P.E.I.
Nova Scotia announced today that it has four active cases, traced to an individual travelling from the U.S. who was intending to head to P.E.I. but is now under quarantine in Nova Scotia.
Meanwhile on July 4, two Americans who entered Canada on June 24 were arrested in Ontario and fined $1,000 each for breaking a 14-day quarantine.
Concerns about U.S. travellers using a loophole to enter B.C. to drive to Alaska have prompted Premier John Horgan to ask the federal government to address the issue with state officials.
Elsewhere in the world, Brazil has had the second-highest numbers in the world, with over 1.6 million cases and almost 64,900 deaths.
India is third with almost 700,000 cases and approximately 20,000 deaths.
Russia is also approaching 700,000 cases (currently around 687,000 cases) and about 10,300 deaths.
Peru follows with about 303,000 cases and 10,600 deaths.
The U.K. has had the seventh most cases (approaching 300,000), but has had the third largest number of deaths (over 44,300).
Mexico follows the U.K. with about 257,000 cases and over 30,600 deaths (the fifth most deaths in the world after Italy).
COVID-19 world updates: As Canada continues reopening, U.S. hits highest number of new cases since April
While the World Health Organization previously reported earlier this week that the global pandemic count reached a record high of new cases for a single day, the United States—which has had the most confirmed cases in the world during the pandemic—also recorded a troubling new record.
On June 24, the U.S. reported 45,557 new cases, the highest number for a single day since April 26.
After a downward trend in the number of daily cases in the U.S. until the end of May, new case numbers have been on the upswing since early June.
Today, the U.S. reported over 34,000 new cases.
Over the past week, U.S. health officials have linked spikes in Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and other western and southern states to ending lockdowns and Memorial Day.
A church in northeast Oregon is linked to an outbreak involving about 236 people, which represents about 90 percent cases in Union County.
The Lighthouse Pentecostal Church reportedly held services in person prior to the lifting of public gathering restrictions. The gatherings allegedly involved singing, dancing, lack of physical distancing, and handshaking.
As European Union nations reopen their borders to travel by July 1, EU officials are considering banning U.S. travellers. U.S. President Donald Trump had previously banned European travellers from visiting America.
As of today, the U.S. has had a cumulative total of almost 2,410,300 cases and almost 122,500 deaths.
Meanwhile in Canada, several regions are entering new phases of their reopening plans, including British Columbia and parts of Ontario.
Four Atlantic provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador—have entered an agreement to create a travel bubble that will open after Canada Day (July 1).
On July 3, these provinces will open their borders to all travellers within these provinces without quarantine requirements. Travellers from elsewhere in Canada must follow local entry requirements.
Canada has had a cumulative total of approximately 104,100 cases and over 8,500 deaths.
Pandemic is accelerating as world hits highest number of new cases
Just as the World Health Organization warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating, major surges in case numbers around the world have been surpassing troubling milestones.
“The world is in a new and dangerous phase,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had stated during a news briefing from Geneva on June 19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that over 183,000 new cases were reported on June 21—the highest number for a single day.
That number broke a record made only a few days before on June 18 when 150,000 cases were reported.
The total cumulative number of cases worldwide surpassed the nine-million mark, reaching upwards of 9,154,000 cases and approximately 473,700 deaths.
Hotspots fuelling the massive numbers of new cases have been the United States, Brazil, and India.
The U.S. has had almost 2,324,000 cases and is approaching 121,000 deaths, which is about one-quarter of reported deaths worldwide.
In the week ending on June 21, the U.S. witnessed a 25 percent increase in new cases as 25 states reported more new cases than the previous week, and Arizona, Texas, and Florida logged record numbers of new cases.
CNN has reported that a new study estimates that up to 8.7 million Americans, who reported influenza-like symptoms but did not receive testing due to a lack of testing kits at the time, may have had COVID-19 in March but were never diagnosed.
Brazil became the second country to surpass the one-million case mark—it has had approximately 1,106,500 cases and about 51,300 deaths. Actual numbers could be much higher due to underreporting and a lack of widespread testing.
Russia has had approximately 600,000 cases and over 8,300 deaths. Although Russia's low death toll has been repeatedly questioned by critics, Russia maintains its numbers are accurate.
India, which has been lifting its three-month lockdown, has had over 440,200 cases and over 14,000 deaths. Numbers could be higher due to uncertainty about reporting in rural areas.
In addition to Brazil, two other South American countries have been steadily rising and are now closing in on the United Kingdom, which has had the fifth most cases world with almost 308,000 cases and over 43,000 deaths—the third largest number of fatalities in the world.
Peru has had approximately 257,500 cases and over 8,200 deaths while Chile is closely following with about 250,800 cases and over 4,500 deaths.
Both have surpassed former hotspots Spain and Italy, as the major region of concern has shifted from Europe to the Americas.
Canada has had over 103,600 cases and over 8,500 deaths.
All COVID-19 case numbers are taken from the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard, unless otherwise indicated. For a compliation of previous COVID-19 world updates, see this article.