Sunday saw record single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases worldwide

By | September 15, 2020

The World Health Organization on Monday reported the highest one-day increase in coronavirus cases, a total of 307,930 in a 24-hour period, the highest number recorded since the start of the pandemic.

The United States, India, and Brazil, the countries with the highest number of total coronavirus cases, logged the highest numbers of new cases on Sunday.

“Lives and livelihoods have been lost, the global economy is in recession, and social and political fault lines have been exposed,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday. “We are by no means out of the woods.”

The WHO also warned that Europe can expect a surge in deaths due to COVID-19 as new cases have spiked in Spain and France in recent weeks. On Friday alone, the 55 countries in WHO Europe reported 51,000 new cases, the highest since April, according to French news outlet Agence France-Presse.

Confirmed daily cases have only topped 300,000 once before, when 306,857 were recorded on Sept. 6. To date, more than 29.1 million cases and over 925,000 deaths have been reported globally, with over 6.5 million cases and 194,000 deaths in the U.S.

“Fortunately, the number of deaths appears to be remaining at a relatively low level — for now,” Tedros said.

Los Angeles’s exhaustive initiative to test all 700,000 students and 75,000 employees in public schools for the coronavirus has begun, with five cases last week among more than 5,400 children and adults tested, the Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent said.

Students will not be returning to their Los Angeles public schools soon, but when campuses do reopen, L.A. Unified will monitor new cases and provide detailed information on a website about coronavirus outbreaks at an individual campus and even each classroom, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order and restrictions on businesses aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 are unconstitutional, saying that civil liberties must be protected even during a public health crisis.

District Court Judge William Stickman, a Trump appointee, sided with the individual counties that brought the suit, ruling that the gathering size limits “violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment” and the amount of time the limits would remain in place, “until further notice,” was too broad.

Stickman also took aim at the components of the state’s order that closed the operations of “non-life-sustaining” businesses, while “life-sustaining” businesses, such as grocery stores, were allowed to remain open. He ruled that the decision to differentiate between “life-sustaining” and “non-life-sustaining” was an “arbitrary, ad hoc process.”

Pfizer could know before the November election whether its coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that data from its phase three trial of the vaccine should be ready for the Food and Drug Administration by late October.

“It’s more than 60% that we will know if the product works or not by the end of October,” Bourla said Sunday on Face the Nation. “But, of course, that doesn’t mean that it works. It means that we will know if it works.” The company is prepared to distribute “hundreds of thousands of doses” if the vaccine is approved, he added.

President Trump hosted his first indoor rally since June on Sunday in Nevada, defying his own administration’s coronavirus guidance and leading state health officials to fear a surge in cases, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

“I think that we are anticipating to see a growth in cases over the next few weeks, which is really unfortunate because we were beginning to experience, over the last couple weeks, a decrease in positivity,” said Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 Response Director.

The weekend rally violated the state directive limiting the size of gatherings to 50 people or fewer, and most attendees in the crowd were maskless. Cage said that state and local authorities are reviewing the rallies to determine whether any actions should be taken, though he did not elaborate on which actions are on the table.

Henderson, Nevada, the host city of Trump’s weekend rally, fined the company that hosted Trump’s rally, Xtreme Manufacturing, $ 3,000 for multiple violations of the state’s emergency coronavirus directive, the Nevada Independent reported.

A new study found that adding the rheumatoid-arthritis drug Olumiant to remdesivir reduced by one day the median recovery time for patients with COVID-19. The study began in May and included over 1,000 patients. It was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Eli Lilly & Co. and Incyte Corp, which produce the drug, said they will seek emergency use authorization from the FDA for Olumiant as a treatment for COVID-19.

While the U.K. portion of the phase three trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine will resume, the U.S. part remains halted. The U.S. trial will be on hold until at least mid-week pending an FDA investigation into the adverse event that caused phase three trials to be suspended earlier in September. The trial was halted when a participant in the United Kingdom was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that causes inflammation of the spinal cord.

Schools in six districts in Connecticut will be closed for at least part of this week due to the coronavirus. The districts of Bridgeport, East Hartford, Killingly, Wallingford, Westbrook, and West Haven all announced plans to close some schools after staff and/or students tested positive for COVID-19. In the districts of Hartford and Somers, some students also tested positive, but no schools will close. The students involved will be required to remain home for two weeks. Finally, Waterbury School District will quarantine one classroom after a student tested positive for COVID-19.