In record daily increase, global coronavirus cases up over 228,000: WHO

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The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 212,326 on July 4. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

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Global coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 555,000 people in seven months.

White House coordinator urges use of face masks

Meanwhile, White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Deborah Birx urged the use of masks among people living in counties and metro areas where more than 5 percent of COVID-19 tests are positive, even as President Donald Trump has refused to wear a mask in public.

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“We really believe (in) ... the uniform use of masks in allmetros and in all areas with rising new infections, particularly
counties and metros with over 5 percent positivity,” Birx said in avideo panel session for a COVID-19 conference organized by theInternational AIDS Society.

Trump has refused to wear a mask publicly or ask Americans to do so, although he has said he would if he was in a crowd and could not distance himself. Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, has urged greater mask wearing.

There are 13 states where both case rates and the percentage of positive tests are rising, she said. There are 154 counties with significantly increasing cases and 12 states and 17 metro areas where positive test rates are above 10 percent, she said.

As COVID-19 infections in metro areas rise, Birx said the government is watching whether Black Lives Matter protests, which drew thousands of people in some cities, had contributed to the spread of the new coronavirus.

“Not sure we have full information from protests yet because we are starting to see rises in some of our metro areas and we need to track that very carefully,” Birx said.

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