US suffers biggest one-day coronavirus increase with 45,242 new cases
Several states at centre of latest infection surge took steps back from easing movement restrictions
The US recorded 45,242 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally, taking the number of Americans who have tested positive to at least 2.48 million.
The new record for positive Covid-19 tests came as several states at the centre of a surge in infections stepped back from efforts to ease restrictions on businesses. Covid-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
The leading infectious diseases expert advising the government said the US was facing a "serious problem" from a resurgent coronavirus as the illness put the brakes on reopening two of the country's largest states.
Texas and Florida closed bars and reimposed other curbs on Friday as the number of infections in the US hit a single-day record with increases in 16 states, mostly in the south and west.
The contagion also continued to spread throughout Latin America, where Brazil recorded another 1,140 deaths and Argentina toughened a lockdown in the capital, Buenos Aires.
In Europe, countries wrangled over plans to partially reopen the EU border, with officials fretting over the reliability of virus data from abroad, notably China, where the virus was first reported last year.
Much of the western world was pressing ahead with lifting restrictions on daily life despite warnings from health officials that haste could cost more lives.
"We are facing a serious problem in certain areas," immunologist Anthony Fauci said at the first briefing in two months by the White House's Coronavirus Task Force.
"The only way we're going to end it is by ending it together," he said of the outbreak.
The US is recording more than 30,000 cases daily. With nearly 125,000 lives lost, it has by far the highest confirmed death toll in the world.
European diplomats said they planned to exclude the US from travel to the continent when the bloc's external frontier reopen on July 1.
EU envoys debated criteria, and sources told AFP a meeting on Friday ended with a tentative list of about 18 countries free to travel.
With nations at different stages on the outbreak curve, agreeing "travel corridors" was tricky.
Britain said it will lift its two-week quarantine rule for visitors arriving from some "low-risk" countries after pressure from airlines.
Sweden lashed out at the World Health Organisation for listing it among countries deemed at-risk. The country made headlines for its high death toll after opting not to introduce a strict lockdown.
"We have an increase in cases because we have begun testing much more in Sweden the past week," said Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.
The WHO on Friday called for another $27.9 billion in donations to speed up the development and production of tests, vaccines and other treatments, part of its ACT accelerator plan to pool international resources.
About $3.4 billion has been pledged, the global body said ahead of a major fundraising event in Brussels by the EU Commission on Saturday that will feature performances by celebrities including Shakira and Justin Bieber.
More than 497,000 people worldwide have now died from the virus and the number of cases is expected to reach 10 million in the next week, according to an AFP tally.
Updated: June 27, 2020 12:20 PM