The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 5 Minutes

  • The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the total rising by 212,326 in 24 hours.
  • The World Health Organization said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 2,785,023 cases of coronavirus, an increase of 52,492 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 749 to 129,397.
  • Florida set another state record in the number of new coronavirus cases in a single day with 11,458. There have been 190,052 total cases of COVID-19 and 3,702 deaths in Florida since the outbreak began.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, has signed an executive order allowing mayors in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to issue local mask requirements if they experience a spike in COVID-19 cases.
  • “Stop yelling at these young girls. Stop slamming doors. Stop swearing at them and making a scene. STOP!!!” reads a dire call from an Ohio ice cream shop owner for customers to stop harassing the teenage girls who work there and have had to enforce the store’s mask requirement amid the pandemic.

“Does it feel good to make a 16 year old girl cry in the bathroom? Or sob on her way home from work? Does that make you feel better about Covid?”

  • Texas reported 8,258 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, setting a record for the second time this week and bringing its total number of cases to 191,790. The climb comes as many worry Fourth of July celebrations will cause an even further spike.
  • Texas reported a record level of hospitalized Covid-19 patients — 7,890, with an increase of 238 from the previous day.
  • A number of hospitals in Houston have seen a steep rise in caseloads, filling intensive care units, overburdening staff, and straining testing capacity and the availability of other medical services. Protective gear, and other medical devices for testing and treating patients have been scarce.

“What’s been disheartening over the past week or two has been that it feels like we’re back at square one,” Dr. Mir M. Alikhan, a pulmonary and critical care specialist, said to his medical team before rounds. “It’s really a terrible kind of sinking feeling. But we’re not truly back at square one, right? Because we have the last three months of expertise that we’ve developed.”

  • Hospitals in at least two counties in Texas are at full capacity and have no more beds available as the Lone Star State struggles with an alarming spike in coronavirus cases.
  • Residents in New Mexico who decide to flout the state law mandating facial masks in public areas could face a $100 fine. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decision to implement more aggressive measures to enforce public health mandates comes as new cases are rising across the state, hitting a record high as of July 1.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services on Friday reported that ICU’s are at 91 percent capacity after nearly a quarter of coronavirus tests conducted in the state returned positive.

Almost 25 percent of the state’s tests for coronavirus returned positive on Thursday, reported Axios. According to the DHS’ website, 1,520 ICU beds were occupied, leaving only 156 beds still available.

  • “Cases, Cases, Cases! If we didn’t test so much and so successfully, we would have very few cases,” President Trump tweeted on July Fourth. “In a certain way, our tremendous Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES.”
  • Trump said the US has now tested almost 40 million people for coronavirus, and added: “By so doing, we show cases – 99% of which are totally harmless.” 
  • Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on Saturday rejected a request from Illinois Republicans to allow large political gatherings, including a Fourth of July picnic, leaving them without a reprieve from an order from the state’s governor barring most gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • “How on earth can airlines—in the middle of pandemic—fly their planes at full capacity?” Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter sharing a letter demanding federal action to prevent coronavirus from spreading on airplanes. “I am demanding federal action to require social distancing, mask-wearing, and disinfection in planes and airports.”
  • Kroger is giving employees access to free at-home coronavirus tests. A health care professional will guide patients through the nasal swab collection process at home through two-way video chats.
  • President Trump on Saturday signed legislation that extends the deadline for businesses to apply for aid under the Paycheck Protection Program. The program, set up to help assist businesses impacted by closures related to the coronavirus pandemic, had expired on Tuesday night with roughly $130 billion left unused.
  • A pair of Excelsior, Minn. residents have been fined $1,000 apiece for not complying with mandatory self-quarantine rules after crossing into Canada.
  • The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus has risen by 67 to 44,198 in the last day.
  • Spain’s north-eastern region of Catalonia enforced a new lockdown on more than 200,000 people on Saturday, after several new outbreaks of the coronavirus were detected.
  • India recorded its highest single-day spike of coronavirus cases on Saturday, with over 22,000 new cases and 442 deaths, as infections rose in the western and southern parts of the country amid heavy monsoon rains.
  • Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged residents of the Japanese capital not to travel beyond its borders on Saturday as new coronavirus infections topped 100 for a third day.
  • Authorities ordered a new lockdown for 200,000 people in Lleida province of northeastern Spain due to outbreaks of Covid-19 there, the first confinement order since the nation’s state of emergency was lifted on June 21.
  • Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday ordered his inauguration ceremony be scaled down amid a surge of coronavirus cases, dampening excitement around his election win.
  • Iraq’s caseload has increased eightfold in the last month, rising from about 250 new cases daily to 2,000 at the end of June. Deaths have increased as well, with about 100 people dying daily compared to fewer than 50 daily a month ago.

And signs are piling up that the country’s health care system is on the verge of breaking down.

  • Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday as he launched new measures to try to curb the coronavirus.
  • Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Brazil recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths.

Sources:  ABC News, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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