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Coronavirus: What's happened around the world on June 27

Here's what's happened with COVID-19 around the world on June 27, 2020.

5 U.S. states record daily highs for new cases as some scale back plans to reopen

People in a COVID-19 hotspot of Miami's Little Havana neighbourhood practise physical distancing and wear masks as they wait in line at a mask distribution event on Friday. Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars on Friday as its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000, a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago. (Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press)

The latest:

Florida, Arizona and Nevada recorded daily highs for cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in the United States and prompting some of them to roll back their reopening plans.

Florida on Saturday morning reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours — a record for a second day — while Arizona recorded 3,591 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, matching its prior record on June 23. Nevada disclosed 1,099 new cases, double its previous high, while South Carolina and Georgia reported 1,604 and 1,990 new infections, respectively, which are also new daily highs.

The U.S. is home to nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The country has also recorded more than 125,000 deaths.

Experts say the true number of cases is undoubtedly higher. This is both because of incomplete testing and because it is becoming clearer to scientists that a significant number of people become infected with the virus but do not feel sick or show symptoms.

The surge in U.S. cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively than other parts of the country.

On Friday, as the U.S. recorded its largest daily case count of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the government's current strategy for finding and isolating infected people was "not working," partly due to significant asymptomatic spread.

WATCH | White House coronavirus task force meets as U.S. hits record-high cases:

The White House coronavirus task force held its first media briefing in two months, the day after the U.S. set a record-high for new cases. 2:01

The worsening contagion in states like Florida and Texas has created a split-screen effect, with New York and its neighbouring states, which were hit hardest initially, reporting declining cases and forging ahead with reopening plans.

In a reversal of his early moves to relax restrictions, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday ordered bars across the state to close and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50 per cent.

Florida, another state that reopened its economy relatively quickly, told bar owners on Friday to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises.

Yet despite skyrocketing case numbers, both Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have refused to issue statewide mandates on mask-wearing, opting instead to leave that decision to local municipalities. Both Abbott and DeSantis are Republican, the same party as President Donald Trump.

Kami Kim, director of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said her state's leaders claimed victory too soon after lockdowns were lifted starting in early May, while giving off conflicting messages on face coverings by not wearing masks themselves.

"It was just complete denial by a huge swath of the politicians," she said, predicting that the state may need to shut down again. "Unfortunately, our community still isn't taking it very seriously. People aren't wearing masks."

Lines of vehicles wait at a coronavirus testing site outside of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Friday. (Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press)

Vice-President Mike Pence called off a planned bus tour in Florida to benefit his and President Donald Trump's re-election as a result. The White House confirmed he is still travelling to the state to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and his health-care teams.

Pence said Friday during a briefing by the White House's coronavirus task force that he would visit Florida, Texas and Arizona this week to receive a "ground report" on spiking cases of COVD-19 across the sunbelt.

Some Arizona hospitals have begun activating surge plans to increase their capacity to treat coronavirus patients as confirmed cases rise and more people seek treatment. The state health department on Saturday reported 3,591 additional confirmed cases, increasing the state's total to 70,051. There have been 1,579 known deaths, including 44 reported Saturday.


What's happening with COVID-19 in Canada

Hundreds of people across the Kingston, Ont., region are now being tested after potentially being exposed to the novel coronavirus, and health officials say they're expecting more positive tests by the end of the weekend after an outbreak at a local nail salon.

As of Friday afternoon, 16 people had tested positive for COVID-19 after working at, visiting or coming into contact with someone who was at Binh's Nails and Spa, in the city's west end.

Kingston on Friday declared the use of masks mandatory in indoor public locations in response to the outbreak.

WATCH | Kingston, Ont., makes masks mandatory in indoor public places:

Public health officials in Kingston, Ont., take the extraordinary step of requiring the use of masks in indoor public places, after an outbreak of at least 16 cases was traced to a nail salon there. 1:42

As of 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 103,032 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 65,973 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 8,565.

WATCH | Air Canada, WestJet to stop physical distancing on flights:

Air Canada and WestJet are ending their seat distancing policy. Transport Canada listed physical distancing among the key ways to help prevent the spread of the virus in a guide issued to the aviation industry in April. 2:18

What's happening in the rest of the world

India's confirmed coronavirus cases crossed half a million on Saturday with another record 24-hour jump of 18,552 infections.

The country's health ministry reported 384 new deaths, raising the total to 15,685.

The surge prompted authorities in the northeastern state of Assam to impose a two-week lockdown in the state capital of Gauhati. About 700 new cases were reported there in just four days.

A woman reacts as a medical worker takes a swab from her to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, on Friday. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the rest of Assam will be placed under a night curfew and weekend lockdowns.

He urged people to store essential goods and signalled a tighter lockdown where even grocery stores would be closed.

China has reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, a day after health experts said they expect an outbreak in Beijing to be brought under control soon. The National Health Commission said Saturday that 21 cases had been confirmed nationwide in the latest 24-hour period, including 17 in the nation's capital.

People wearing protective masks walk in the park at Summer Palace on Friday after a new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

City officials have temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely, reclosed schools and locked down some neighbourhoods.

China has reported 83,483 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in the global pandemic.

South Korea has reported 51 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus as fresh clusters continue to emerge in the densely populated Seoul area.

They bring the national caseload to 12,653, including 282 deaths. Thirty-five of the new cases came from Seoul and nearby cities and towns, which have been at the centre of a COVID-19 resurgence since late May. Twelve others were linked to international arrivals.

More than 9.84 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and more than 496,000 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Russia on Saturday reported 6,852 new coronavirus cases, a figure that keeps the daily rise below 7,000 for a second day in a row for the first time since late April. The new cases take the cumulative nationwide tally to 627,646.

The country's coronavirus response centre said 188 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 8,969.

In Australia, the state of Victoria recorded 41 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Saturday, double the daily rate seen a week ago. Despite the spike in cases in Victoria, Australia's infection numbers of around 7,600 and 104 deaths have remained well below that of many other nations.

Britain will scrap a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving from countries it deems to be at lower risk for COVID-19, and official advice against all but essential travel abroad will also be eased for some countries and regions in Europe, the government said on Friday.

A full list of countries is due to be published next week, but it's likely that Spain, Greece and France will be given a green light.

WATCH | Busy beaches and gatherings in the U.K. raise fears of a second surge:

In Britain they've flocked to beaches and held raucous parties inside and out, raising fears the plan to reopen sent the wrong message and is setting the stage for a second surge. 1:47

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned  on Saturday that the pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave. 

Merkel said in her weekly video podcast that getting Europe's economy back on track is her primary goal as Germany takes over the rotating European Union presidency next week, but she stressed that everyone shared a "joint responsibility" in following physical distancing and mask and hygiene rules as lockdown rules are relaxed.

WATCH | WHO gives update on COVID-19 vaccine development:

The World Health Organization's chief scientist says AstraZeneca appears to be in the lead in the effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but Chinese companies are making significant strides.   2:10

Germany has recorded nearly 195,000 coronavirus infections and about 9,000 deaths, with more than 177,000 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins.

Serbia says Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Defence Ministry says in a statement issued on Saturday that he has no symptoms and feels fine.

Vulin, known for his highly pro-Russian stance, was part of Serbia's delegation led by President Aleksandar Vucic that attended a Victory Day parade this week in Moscow. Vucic met face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was not clear whether Vulin did so as well.

Vucic has announced he will reintroduce the tough measures if the spike continues. Serbia has so far registered more than 13,500 cases and 265 deaths from COVID-19.

With files from The Associated Press

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