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World Roundup: • US cases soar past 50,000 in 24 hours; WHO renews warning

New daily coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 50,000 for the first time Wednesday, as the World Health Organization delivered a grave warning that the global pandemic is accelerating.

Restaurants, bars and beaches in the world’s worst-hit nation closed from California to Florida, as states reeling from yet another surge in the deadly virus braced for Independence Day festivities.

Global infections have hit their highest level in the past week, WHO data showed, with chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying new cases topped “160,000 on every single day.”

With more than 52,000 new COVID-19 cases in the United States alone in the past 24 hours, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, several US states imposed 14-day quarantines on visitors in the buildup to the long weekend’s July 4 celebrations.

President Donald Trump reiterated his belief that the contagion will “at some point... sort of just disappear, I hope.”

But the US leader who has yet to be seen in public wearing a face mask during the pandemic added he would have “no problem” doing so.

US buys up COVID-19 drug

Britain and Germany said they had sufficient stocks of remdesivir, the first drug to be shown to be relatively effective in treating COVID-19, and of which the United States has bought almost all supply.

Washington announced this week that it had purchased 92 percent of all remdesivir production by the Gilead laboratory until the end of September – about 500,000 treatments out of nearly 550,000. Each treatment requires 6.25 vials on average.

President Donald Trump “has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for COVID-19,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar as the US death toll hit 127,000 – the world’s highest.

Gilead has set the price at $390 per vial in developed countries, or $2,340 for six vials used over the normal five-day course, though US private insurers will pay $520 per vial.

Dutch brothels reopen

According to the United Nations, the coronavirus crisis could cost global tourism and related sectors from $1.2 to $3.3 trillion in lost revenue.

The Netherlands confirmed the reopening of one of its tourist draws – its brothels and red-light districts.

“I’m totally booked,” said sex worker Foxxy, adding that she had held a “little party” when she heard restrictions would be lifted. AFP

Greece, which has suffered fewer than 200 virus deaths, has seen its economy hit hard by lockdowns and travel restrictions – all but ending its lucrative tourism season before it began.

Topics: COVID-19 , United States , Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus , World Health Organization , United Nations , United States
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