Grim milestones: 77k new cases in US, Brazil infections hit 2 million

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The US has reported more than 77,000 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, setting yet another single-day record amid a fierce debate over the need to reopen the country with the Trump administration urging schools to resume in-person teaching.

There was grim news from Brazil as well – the worst-affected country in South America. Its tally of Covid-19 cases has crossed the two million mark. More than 76,000 people have died in Brazil. Since May, Brazil has recorded over 1,000 daily deaths.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that transmission of the virus in Brazil has “plateaued”.

In the US, the new record of 77,217 cases, according to a Reuters tally, beat the previous high of 69,070. Fatalities went up by 969 in the past 24 hours. The virus has claimed over 138,300 lives, infecting at least 3.57 million people.

The White House continued to push for reopening the country. “Science is on our side. We encourage localities and states to follow science and open our schools. It’s (the curbs) very damaging to our children,” Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press spokesperson, told reporters.

Also, two US diplomats are among five new cases reported in Cambodia on Friday. All five cases involve people who had travelled from the US.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday hoped that Britain will be able to return close to “normality” from November, “possibly in time for Christmas”. Several restrictions have been eased in recent weeks.

Dutch authorities said on Friday they will cull more than 1,100 mink as the coronavirus was discovered in yet another farm in the Netherlands, taking the total to 25. The latest outbreak was found in the town of Westerbeek.

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