US records new high of over 200,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) on Tuesday far exceeded its previous daily record of new COVID-19 cases, adding 201,961 cases in 24 hours, according to the tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The high number, partly due to data delayed over the weekend, took total cases in the US to 10,238,243, with a total of 239,588 deaths, as of 8.30pm.

In the 24-hour period, 1,535 deaths from COVID-19 were registered, a record in recent months as the US struggles to contain the spread of the pandemic.

For a week now, the number of new infections has trended at over 100,000 each day.

Coronavirus hospitalisations have also hit an all-time high, with more than 60,000 people hospitalised across the country, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

US President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede defeat in the November 3 election, has repeatedly mocked people for wearing masks and claimed the virus would go away by itself.

But his victorious opponent Joe Biden has vowed to take a more proactive approach, telling the nation this week that face coverings are the single best way to get the virus under control.

US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced on Monday that their vaccine candidate was 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19, marking a major breakthrough in the search for a vaccine.

Paramedics and firefighters with Anne Arundel County Fire Department prepare to transport a patient to the hospital in Glen Burnie, Maryland. PHOTO: AFP