General

Surge in COVID-19 Infections Pushing US Past 10 Million Cases

The United States is set to surpass 10 million COVID-19 cases Monday as the country deals with a surge in infections worse than at any other point in the global pandemic.

During the past week, the United States has added an average of more than 100,000 new cases per day, double its daily infections from a month ago. About 900 people are dying each day.

Midwestern states are being hit the hardest, with hospitalization rates in the region reaching record highs.

President-elect Joe Biden is meeting Monday with a coronavirus task force as he looks ahead to steps his administration will take to battle the pandemic when he takes office in January. His is scheduled to follow the talks with an address outlining “his plans to beat COVID-19.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who has led the current administration’s response to the coronavirus, is convening a session of his task force Monday for the first time since October 20.

COVID-19 infections have spiked in other parts of the world, including in Europe, where some governments have instituted lockdown measures to try to slow the spread of the virus. Globally the number of confirmed cases is more than 50 million, with 1.2 million deaths and 33 million people recovered.

Among the areas with the highest infections per capita during the past week are the Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Austria and Italy.

Switzerland is also high on that list, and on Sunday deployed more than 200 army reservists to assist hospitals strained by new admissions.

Portugal, another hard-hit nation, is instituting new night-time curfews in some areas beginning Monday. In Poland, the surge in cases has pushed the mayor of Warsaw to cancel Wednesday’s annual Independence Day march.

As work continues toward a coronavirus vaccine with multiple companies carrying out clinical trials to test safety and efficacy, Argentina is the latest government to reach an agreement with AstraZeneca to receive doses of its vaccine candidate. The deal is for about 22 million doses to be delivered in the first half of 2021.

Source: Voice Of America