US surpasses 2m Covid-19 pandemic cases
The US has reached a dire landmark in its fight against Covid-19, surpassing two million confirmed cases.
New infections are rising in at least 20 states, even as restrictions on daily life continue to ease across the country.
More than 112,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US — the most fatalities reported by any nation, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. And most experts believe those numbers underestimate the true toll.
US President Donald Trump Thursday announced first post-pandemic election rally to be held in Oklahoma on June 19 despite the rising cases. It is the date that African Americans celebrate the end of slavery.
The Trump campaign said his Republican Party was proud of its role in winning the Civil War and ending slavery.
The news follows weeks of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody.
In 1921 the city of Tulsa was the site of one of the worst massacres of black people in US history.
Experts say that while the virus remains a threat, Trump’s campaign considers that large crowds at the recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd will make it harder for his opponents to criticise his rallies.
And Russia, the country with the world’s third-largest coronavirus outbreak, passed the symbolic milestone of 500,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, after the capital lifted tight lockdown restrictions this week.
The latest figures took the country’s total to 502,436 cases, after 8,779 new cases were recorded in the last day, a government website said.
Elsewhere, the WHO warned that the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is “accelerating” in Africa, which has so far been the least affected continent.
The outbreak is being driven by 10 countries, which accounted for two thirds of about 200,000 confirmed cases on the continent, WHO Africa head Dr Matshidiso Moeti said.
South Africa was the worst hit, with the situation in the Western Cape looking similar to Europe.
Most of the continent’s Covid-19 cases are concentrated in and around capital cities, but infections are now also spreading outside major urban areas. -BBC