Data highlighted the struggle for authorities around the world to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control Saturday, as the US reported 80,000 infections in a single day, France extended a curfew to two-thirds of citizens and Germany’s death toll passed 10,000.
The World Health Organization had earlier warned of an “exponential” rise in infections threatening health systems’ ability to cope.
But populations weary of social isolation and economic hardship have pushed back against fresh restrictions to slow the resurgent virus’ spread, including overnight clashes in hard-hit Naples between Italian police and hundreds of protesters.
In the US, Covid-19 has become a central election issue ahead of a November 3 vote, with President Donald Trump on Friday promising attendees at a Florida rally that “we’re going to quickly end this pandemic, this horrible plague.”
Meanwhile, challenger Joe Biden matched Trump’s vow to make a vaccine available for free to all who want it “whether or not you’re insured” and said the Republican incumbent has “given up” on controlling the outbreak.
Johns Hopkins University had earlier reported 79,963 new American cases in 24 hours, a new record, although the number of daily deaths has remained broadly stable since the beginning of autumn at between 700 and 800.