Jun 21, 2020 - Health

WHO reports highest single-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases

An illustration of a gloved hand holding a globe
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the pandemic's largest single-day increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 183,000 cases reported in the last 24 hours, according to AP.

Why it matters: The staggering number of new cases underscores the degree to which the pandemic is accelerating worldwide, not slowing down.

By the numbers: Brazil, the epicenter of the virus in the Southern Hemisphere, reported 54,771 new cases, while the United States reported 36,617. India reported 15,400 cases, bringing the total global case count as of Sunday evening to over 8.7 million.

  • 461,000 people have died from the coronavirus, with more than two-thirds of new deaths coming from North and South America, per AP.

Between the lines: In the U.S., spikes in states like California, Texas, Arizona and Florida are a product of both community spread and increase in testing.

  • President Trump has brushed off the surge in cases, stating at a rally on Saturday: "When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases."
  • However, the growth in testing does not fully account for the surge in new cases. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned on Sunday that he does not believe the epidemic will slow down in the summer or fall.
  • Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb also warned that the outbreaks in some states could tip into "exponential growth" in the next week, and he urged Americans to wear masks in public.

Go deeper: Tracking the coronavirus pandemic, by the numbers

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to show that two-thirds of new deaths come from North and South America (not the United States).

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