Coronavirus updates: US records under 50,000 new cases for first time in six days

Myriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 731,000 people worldwide.

Over 19 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 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 United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than five million diagnosed cases and at least 162,938 deaths.

Here’s how the news is developing Monday. All times Eastern:

6:49 a.m.: India’s former president tests positive for COVID-19

India’s former president, Pranab Mukherjee, has tested positive for COVID-19.

“On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for Covid-19 today,” Mukherjee, who served as president of India from 2012 to 2017, announced via Twitter on Monday. “I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for Covid-19.”

With more than 2.2 million diagnosed cases of COVID-19, India has the third-highest tally in the world, behind the United States and Brazil.

5:36 a.m.: Coronavirus testing site opening along U.S.-Mexico border

A coronavirus testing site will open soon near the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern California’s San Diego County, according to a report by San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV.

The appointment-free, walk-up testing site will be located at the San Ysidro Port of Entry’s PedWest crossing, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian international border crossings. The site, among more than two dozen others across San Diego County, will be the closest one to the border with Mexico so far for the region.

The United States and Mexico are two of the worst-affected nations in the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hispanic community makes up just 34% of San Diego’s population and yet, as of Sunday, they accounted for 62% of the city’s COVID-19 cases, according to KGTV. That figure will likely rise after the new testing site opens up within the next couple weeks, since the area is dominated by Spanish speakers.

However, Chicano Federation Chief Strategy Officer Roberto Alcantar said many in the Latino community are still afraid of getting tested.

“Our community is nervous about losing their jobs, not being able to go to work, the real economic impact that comes from being positive and feeling that that might hinder them in a way,” Alcantar told KGTV.

4:21 a.m.: Australia sees record rise in virus-related deaths

An additional 19 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the Australian state of Victoria on Sunday — the highest single-day increase in fatalities that the country has seen since the start of the pandemic.

“This news is devastating no matter what age COVID affects people, and we just want to reaffirm again our support through every channel we can provide it,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services also reported 322 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest daily count recorded in the state since July 29.

“We are seeing some stability. That’s a good thing. But that’s not enough,” Victoria’s state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. “And that’s the product of masks and Stage 3. That’s what the experts tell us. The next stage, though, is all about these restrictions that we’ve had to painfully impose.”

Andrews declared a state of disaster in Victoria on Aug. 2, giving authorities additional powers to ensure people are complying with public health directions. Victoria is home to Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, which has become a hotspot in the country’s novel coronavirus outbreak.

In total, Australia has reported more than 21,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 with at least 313 deaths.

3:45 a.m.: US records under 50,000 new cases for first time in six days

There were 46,395 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, bringing the nationwide total soaring past five million, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s the first time in six days that the nation has recorded under 50,000 new cases. An additional 516 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.

Sunday’s caseload is well below the record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.

A total of 5,044,864 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 162,938 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.

Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records. However, new data published last week in an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that the national surge in cases could be leveling off.

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