The United States has exceeded 7 million confirmed coronavirus cases, while some governments in Europe are instituting tighter restrictions to try to control a rise in infections.
The United States passed the milestone Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, after earlier this week passing the grim milestone of more than 200,000 coronavirus deaths.
The United States has recorded the greatest number of coronavirus cases, followed by India, Brazil, Russia and Colombia, according to Hopkins.
In Europe, a new wave of coronavirus infections has led governments across the continent to re-impose some restrictions on residents and businesses.
Dutch Prime Minister Make Rutte called the wave of infections in his country “very worrying” as the Netherlands reported a new daily record of 2,777 cases.
“The figures look downright terrible,” he told reporters Friday. “In short, the situation is very worrisome and will force us to take extra measures.”
Rutte said he expects to announce those restrictions next week.
People in the Czech Republic also will face new measures starting next week, Health Minister Roman Prymula said Friday, without specifying exactly what limits will be in place.
Figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control show the Czech Republic trailing only Spain for the highest number of new cases per capita in Europe during the past two weeks.
Prymula said the countermeasures will affect gatherings of people, but not harm the economy.
“We want to pursue a strategy of a faster, shorter-term impact,” Prymula said.
In Spain, local Madrid authorities and the national government are clashing over the extent of the steps needed to control the outbreak of new infections in the capital region.
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said Friday the government wants all of Madrid and its 3.3 million residents to go under lockdown.
The regional government said it will expand lockdown orders, but only partially, adding about 160,000 more people to the 850,000 who had to stay home this week unless they had an authorized reason to go out.
Madrid also has cut the number of people allowed to visit shops and restaurants, and it has closed parks.
The lockdown has drawn protest from those who say they are being targeted because they live in more densely populated, poorer areas that have worse infrastructure.
In Britain, U.S.-based Novavax said Friday it has begun a late-stage trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The company said it was conducting the trial in Britain because there is a significant enough circulation of the coronavirus in the country to likely produce quick results.
The trial involves 10,000 people between the ages of 18 and 84, the company said, and is being carried out in a partnership with Britain’s coronavirus task force.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland reopened Friday, the second time it has done so during the pandemic.
There are social distancing guidelines, along with extra cleaning in the park’s most popular areas.
The park first closed amid the first wave of the outbreak early this year, and it closed again as a wave of infections hit Hong Kong in July.
Source: Voice of America