The US has smashed its highest daily record for Covid-19 infections, reporting over 77,300 new cases in 24 hours on Thursday, July 16, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
That record comes off the back of the worst week of the outbreak for the US, which has consistently seen at least 59,000 new confirmed cases each day. The previous record was set just last Friday, July 10, with 67,800 new cases.
The US outbreak also hit 3.5 million cases on Thursday and has seen at least 138,359 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, the highest of any country by a big margin, nearly twice that of the next worst-hit country.
New coronavirus cases have been on the increase in 41 states over the past two weeks. A significant number of the recent cases have come from a selection of states that have set record daily rises this week, including Texas, Florida, and Arizona. The situation has become so dire in Texas and Arizona that authorities have even requested refrigerated trucks to hold dead bodies because their hospitals and morgues are too overwhelmed.
“In the hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies. We're out of space, and our funeral homes are out of space," Dr Ken Davis, chief medical officer of Christus Santa Rosa Health System in the San Antonio area, said in a briefing on Monday. "There's nowhere to put them. We're looking into refrigerator trucks to hold them until the morgue or funeral home can pick them up.
"It sounds terrible, but it's true."
The worst might still be to come too. Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US authority on infectious disease, told the US Senate that he "would not be surprised" if new cases in the country reach 100,000 per day in the near future.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Dr Fauci said at the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee on June 30. “I’m very concerned, I’m not satisfied with what’s going on, because we’re going in the wrong direction. Clearly we’re not in total control.”
Dr Fauci did not give an estimated death toll, but remarked: “It is going to be very disturbing, I guarantee you that.”
President Donald Trump has said he disagrees with Dr Fauci's assessment of the spiraling virus in an interview with GrayTV, where he boasted about not listening to the experts early on in the pandemic, insisted the US was "in a good place" and called the 30 percent rise in cases in Florida in the last week as "spiking a little bit". The US currently has 42 times the number of Covid cases than China, a country with more than four times the number of people than the US.
Globally, there have been at least 13.8 million confirmed cases worldwide and 590,231 deaths. July 16 also saw the highest global rise, with 249,800 reported new Covid-19 cases. Brazil has the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 with 2,012,151 confirmed cases (76,688 reported deaths), followed by India with 1,003,832 cases (25,602 reported deaths). The UK currently has the third-highest death toll in the world, with at least 45,204 reported deaths.