Coronavirus pandemic accelerates dangerously in the United States

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The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating dangerously in the United States with new confirmed cases exploding in Florida, Texas and elsewhere.

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For instance, Florida on Friday reported nearly 9,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours totaling 122,960 cases, the most for any state since the pandemic began.

Former Vice President Joe Biden who is hoping to replace President Donald Trump in November lamented on Thursday that the number of cases was rising rapidly in at least 29 of the 50 U.S. states.

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Florida is just one of many states that are experiencing a fresh surge of infections. Early this week, Florida broke a single day record of 5,511 new confirmed cases. But the 9000 new cases reported on Friday have now set a whole new record for the country.

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The report on Friday shows that deaths in Florida increased by 1.2%, reaching 3,366 while the total hospitalizations rose by 1.5% to 13,987 patients. More than 1.77 million people in Florida have been tested so far. The median age of new cases is from people in their mid-30s.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order on Friday for all bars to close by 12 p.m. today and that restaurants must decrease their capacity from 75% to 50% due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible,” Abbott said.

“However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can.”

Unlike elsewhere, young people in Texas account for the majority of new Texas cases, linked to certain types of activities such as gathering in bars, the governor said. He said local approval of outdoor gatherings over 100 people is also required.

Elsewhere in the United States, cases continue to go up in many other states. California for instance saw a single day increase of 7000 this week, the highest in the state since the coronavirus crisis hit the United States.

Abbott’s orders could signal a beginning of second wave re-closures by states. Many states may slow down reopening or impose more lockdown measures.

More stimulus packages may be needed for Americans who may be forced to stay indoors while the crisis subsides.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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