May 20, 2020 - Health

Global coronavirus cases spike over 24 hours, WHO says

A view of Red Square. The Moscow authorities have extended the self-isolation regime through May 31

Red Square in Moscow. Russia extended the self-isolation regime in Moscow through May 31. Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images

The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases globally jumped to a daily record this week, with more than 100,000 reported cases over the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Though social distancing measures around the world have helped slow the spread of COVID-19, WHO officials said outbreaks can easily reemerge as communities reopen. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

What's happening: Roughly two-thirds of the new cases were concentrated in four countries. The U.S. had the most with 45,251 new cases on Tuesday, while Russia is reporting the second-highest case count increase, with 9,263 the same day.

  • Brazil recorded the highest death toll in 24 hours with 1,179 more deaths.
  • "[W]e’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries," Tedros added.
  • South Korea has earned praise for its “impressive" strategy implementation following its response to the MERS coronavirus in 2012.
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