Students with plastic boards on their desks at Jeonmin High School in Daejeon, South Korea, on Wednesday.
As many countries gauge how best to reopen safely, the coronavirus continues to infect people around the globe.
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it had logged a record number of daily new coronavirus cases: 106,000 worldwide.
Case numbers are highest right now in the US, Russia, and Brazil.
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As offices, gyms, schools, and shopping centers continue to reopen in countries around the globe, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that “we still have a long way to go” to stop the virus cold — a gentle reminder to the world that the coronavirus’ global spread is still accelerating in many spots.
“In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO, the most in a single day since the outbreak began,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters during a teleconference from Geneva.
“Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries,” he added.
Those countries are some of the largest, including the US, Russia, and Brazil. (Saudi Arabia and India have also each logged thousands of infections in recent days, rounding out the top five.)
The US leads the world in recorded coronavirus infections
The US tallied by far the most of the new coronavirus infections, even as many states relax their stay-at-home orders and move forward with reopening plans.
On Tuesday, according to WHO’s numbers, more than 45,250 new infections were recorded in the US. The number is partly an indication that the US has now tested more people than any other nation.
But the US still lags well behind many others when it comes to testing per capita. Italy, Canada, and the UK have each tested many more people for the virus relative to their populations.
Sweden, which some have used as an example of how staying open during the pandemic is possible, is also now struggling with the highest per-capita death rate in Europe. One preschool teacher there who is still holding classes told Insider, “I always wonder how many people will die because of me.”
In South Korea, where fitness classes are in session and offices are open, coronavirus infections are spreading too: A study found that 44% of workers on one floor of a South Korean call center caught the virus in March, and a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found 112 infections across 12 sports facilities in South Korea linked to one dance fitness workshop in February where instructors mingled.
It’s a reminder that when and where people gather, infection rates are likely to rise.
“The virus needs people to transmit between,” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, said during a press conference last week. “If people are in close contact with one another and you have an infected person, it will transmit to another person through these respiratory droplets.”
People protest Minnesota’s stay-at-home order outside the governor’s residence in April.
Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via Getty Images
Tedros said WHO was becoming “very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries.”
Mike Ryan, WHO’s executive director for health emergencies, said, “It’s still early for India, as it is for many countries in South Asia.”
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