Germany, Brazil and the United States are among the nations grappling with a recent spike in coronavirus cases as the World Health Organization reported the highest one-day increase in cases globally on Sunday.
Despite a successful streak in containing the spread of the virus in Germany, an outbreak among workers at the Toennies meat processing plant in Gütersloh, has led to at least 1,331 new cases of the virus, officials said on Monday. At least 7,000 employees and their families connected with the plant were forced to quarantine in an effort to prevent further spread.
As of Monday, Germany had seen 190,359 cases and 8,885 deaths — lower numbers than seen elsewhere in Europe. But the recent increase means the virus reproduction rate for the country has jumped to 2.88 — well above the containment level of under 1.
Meanwhile, at least 2.2 million people have been infected in the U.S., while over 120,000 people have been killed, according to NBC News’ tracking.
The latest national hotspots for the virus have shifted from the original epicenter in the Northeast, particularly New York City. Instead, the highest infection rates are now being detected in southern and western states including Oregon and Oklahoma.
Despite the grim figures, President Donald Trump told a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that testing should be slowed down to reduce the number of new cases being detected — a remark the White House later described as a joke.
Brazil passed 1 million coronavirus cases over the weekend and its death toll reached 50,591, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.
Image: Aubrey Burgess reacts to getting swabbed for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a testing site set up at an event to mark Juneteenth in Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado (Kevin Mohatt / Reuters)
An additional 23,171 people who were not officially diagnosed with the coronavirus died from respiratory infections between Jan. 1 and June 6, according to Fiocruz, one of Brazil’s state-run health research institutes. However, experts believe most of them died from COVID-19.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases is nearing 9 million while the death toll has exceeded 468,000. The WHO warned that the pandemic appears to be accelerating with more than 183,000 new cases in 24 hours on Sunday.
In China, which first detected the virus in December, the latest outbreak of new cases appears to be coming under control. Beijing reported a cluster of new cases connected to the Xinfadi market in the city’s southwestern Fengtai district earlier this month.
Image: Parents and children arrive at the Jules Julien elementary school in Toulouse, southern France, on June 22, 2020 following the reopening of schools (Lionel Bonaventure / AFP – Getty Images)
The outbreak resulted in a total of 236 cases confirmed between June 11 to 21, prompting the closure of schools and strict restrictions on movement in the Chinese capital — although the measures were not as strict as those imposed on Wuhan where the virus originated. On Sunday, the daily increase in new cases went down to single digits with just nine infections confirmed.
France was among the countries easing restrictions as its coronavirus cases continue to fall. Restaurants, cafes and bars could finally open their doors in Paris on Monday while many children returned to schools and kindergartens.
More than 197,000 cases have been detected in France since the pandemic began, leading to 30,000 deaths. Last week, President Emmanuel Macron warned that while the country is reopening, people should uphold social distancing measures and be prepared for a second wave of the virus in the fall.
Reuters contributed to this report.