Copy of 210621-01-02-1593354224858
Medical staff check medical equipments installed in an Airbus A400M prior to an evacuation of patients infected with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) to hospitals of French West Indies, at Guiana air-base 367 in Matoury, near Cayenne, in the French overseas department of Guiana, on June 28. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: The total number of global infections has now surpassed 10 million on Sunday based on official sources.

The rate of infections worldwide has doubled since May 21, with one million new cases recorded in just the last six days.

The pandemic has killed at least 498,779 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to the count.

Grim milestone in US

Coronavirus infections across the United States have passed 2.5 million, with record numbers of cases reported in the states of Florida and Texas, the BBC reported. The surge in cases in southern states comes after businesses were allowed to re-open in recent weeks. On Saturday, Florida reported more than 9,500 new cases, up from almost 9,000 on Friday, the previous record.

The spike has led state officials to tighten restrictions on business again - as Texas also did on Friday.The leading US government adviser on coronavirus, Dr Anthony Fauci, said last week that the country had a “serious problem”.

Half a million confined in Beijing

China imposes a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding the capital to contain a fresh cluster, as authorities warn the outbreak is still “severe and complicated.”

Health officials say Anxin county - about 150 kilometres from Beijing - will be “fully enclosed and controlled”, the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year.

The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus are reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

UK city lockdown?

The English Midlands city of Leicester could face a local lockdown, the UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel says, after a spike of 658 new cases reported in the two weeks up to June 16.

Iran masks up

The Islamic republic says it will make mask-wearing mandatory in certain areas as of next week and continuing until July 22, with the possibility of the measure being extended.

During a televised meeting of the country’s anti-virus taskforce, President Hassan Rouhani also says authorities are allowing hard-hit provinces to reimpose restrictive measures if required.

Sport with spectators

South Korea says it will begin allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports games, despite concerns over a second wave of infections.

The sports ministry is expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss the details, Yonhap news agency reports, and the Korea Baseball Organisation is preparing to fill around 30 per cent of stands at its games.

And in Brazil, the state of Rio de Janeiro will allow football fans into stadiums from July 10, initially at one-third capacity, according to an official decree.

Capacity will move to two-thirds from August 1, while stadiums will be able to function with no restrictions from August 16.