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US Sets Another Single-Day Record for COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations

The United States set another single-day record for the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations Thursday.

More than 153,000 new infections were reported in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University. It was the first time new single-day totals had exceeded 150,000.

Some 10.7 million people in the U.S. have contracted the coronavirus, more than any other country. The U.S. also leads the world in COVID-19 deaths, with more than 244,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, which reported another 919 coronavirus deaths on Thursday.

COVID Tracking Project figures indicated that more than 67,000 people were hospitalized Thursday with COVID-19, an increase of more than 1,700 from the previous day.

The record-setting infection rate in the U.S. was being fueled by surges in California and in several Midwest and Northeast states, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

The nation’s most populous state, California, has topped the 1 million mark for COVID-19 cases, as has Texas.

Worldwide, Italy is the 10th country to surpass the 1 million mark of infections. India and Brazil follow the U.S., with more than 8.7 million and 5.8 million cases respectively. France is nearing 2 million cases, followed by Russia with 1.87 million. Over the 1 million mark are Spain, Britain, Argentina and Colombia.

American firm Microsoft said Friday that state-supported Russian and North Korean hackers had tried in recent months to steal data from pharmaceutical companies and COVID-19 researchers. The technology giant said most of the cyberattacks were unsuccessful but did not disclose details about those that were successful. Microsoft said most of the targets were in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the U.S.

The U.S. government said in July that Chinese state-backed actors were also targeting vaccine manufacturers with cyberattacks.

In Brazil, the country with the highest coronavirus tally in Latin America, the late-stage trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine resumed after the country’s health regulator called a halt because of an “adverse, serious event” involving a participant in the study.

The vaccine, CoronaVac, is being developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac. The vaccine had been denounced by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a frequent critic of China.

In Japan, organizers of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics said Thursday that participating athletes would not have to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine period when they arrive for the games next year. Games chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters a decision on allowing foreign spectators to observe the events would be made next year, but said it was a possibility the two-week quarantine could be waived for them as well.

The Tokyo Summer Games were initially scheduled to be held in July and August, but organizers in March decided to postpone them for a year because of the pandemic.

Source: Voice of America