By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 935,000 people worldwide.
Over 29.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.
The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 6.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 195,942 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 768,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 692,000 cases and over 668,000 cases, respectively.
Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least six of which are in crucial phase three trials.
Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:
Sep 16, 8:23 am
Israel records its highest single-day rise in cases
Israel recorded its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 5,523 new diagnoses, according to the country’s health ministry.
Overall, Israel has reported more than 166,000 cases with at least 1,147 deaths.
Israel is slated to begin another nationwide lockdown on Friday in an effort to curb the soaring infection rate, though restrictions will be slightly less severe than the first time.
Hotels, restaurants, schools and entertainment venues will close for an initial period of three weeks and the public’s movement will be restricted to 500 meters from home. However, supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open and businesses across the private sector that don’t receive members of the public will operate at no more than 50% capacity.
Worshippers will be allowed to pray together indoors during the upcoming Jewish holidays, depending on the space and number of entries to the building. Political demonstrations will also be authorized, despite the lockdown.
Sep 16, 6:09 am
Trump says COVID-19 is ‘going away,’ even ‘without the vaccine’
During an ABC News town hall on Tuesday night, U.S. President Donald Trump said the coronavirus pandemic “is going away,” even “without the vaccine.”
“Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time, it goes away,” Trump told the audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Medical experts, meanwhile, say there is no evidence that the novel coronavirus will go away without a vaccine.
The president also disputed that he had downplayed the pandemic, insisting that he had actually “up-played it in terms of action.”
“I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half [million] — maybe more than that — lives,” he said. “I think we did a very good job. I don’t know if that’s been recognized.”
Sep 16, 5:42 am
India’s case count tops five million
India confirmed 90,123 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing its cumulative total soaring past five million.
The latest daily caseload is just under the country’s record set on Sept. 11 when 97,570 new cases were reported.
Another 1,290 coronavirus-related fatalities were also confirmed, bringing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 82,066, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
India has the second-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world and the third-highest death toll in the coronavirus pandemic, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The vast country of 1.3 billion people has reported more than one million cases this month alone, which the health ministry has attributed to increased testing. India is on track to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within the coming weeks, overtaking the United States, where more than 6.6 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Sep 16, 4:32 am
US records highest daily death toll in weeks
An additional 1,422 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the United States on Tuesday, a more than threefold increase from the previous day, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s latest daily death toll from COVID-19 — the highest since Aug. 12 — is still under its record set on April 17, when there were 2,666 new fatalities in a 24-hour reporting period.
There were also 52,081 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed across the United States on Tuesday, down from a peak of 77,255 new cases reported on July 16.
A total of 6,606,562 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 195,942 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.
An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night identified some areas in the northeastern United States as “emerging hotspots,” including parts of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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