More than 500,000 hit the beach at Bournemouth, UK
World hits coronavirus milestones amid fears worse suffering to come; Fate of vaccine sprint facing key weeks

The world has reached two grim milestones — 500,000 confirmed virus deaths and 10 million confirmed cases — and hit another high mark for daily new infections.

Governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that even worse news could be yet to come.

As infections rise along with summer temperatures in the northern hemisphere, many governments are stepping up testing and mulling more aggressive moves to stem fresh outbreaks.

Already In Harm’s Way: Nightmare scenarios in which the coronavirus gains a foothold in poor or war-torn countries are being realized across the developing world, report Gerald Imray and Joseph Krauss.

  • Health workers in Yemen are leaving their posts en masse and some hospitals are turning away patients struggling to breathe.
  • Cases are soaring in India and Pakistan, where authorities say nationwide lockdowns are no longer possible.
  • South Africa has the most advanced health system on its continent but is under mounting strain.
  • In Latin America, the pandemic is feeding off poverty, even in countries that imposed early lockdowns.

Vaccine: People on six continents already are getting jabs as the race for a COVID-19 vaccine enters a defining summer. The U.S. is poised to start even bigger studies next month to prove if any shot really works. Already British- and Chinese-made vaccines are being tested abroad. But even if first doses of a vaccine arrive by year’s end, don’t expect perfect protection — and do expect a long line as countries prioritize who gets vaccinated first, Lauran Neergaard reports.

Child Abuse: When the pandemic took hold across the United States in mid-March, forcing schools to close, many child welfare experts warned of a surge of child abuse. Fifteen weeks later, the worries persist. Yet some on the front lines, including pediatricians who helped sound the alarm, say they’ve seen no evidence yet of a marked increase, David Crary reports.

Coming Up Today-EU List: The European Union is putting together a list of 15 countries that are not bloc members and whose nationals will be allowed to visit from Wednesday. The final list, which may not include Americans, will be announced later today or Tuesday morning.

Ending Lockdowns has Backfired in US

The spread of coronavirus infections has taken a “swift and very dangerous turn” in the US state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has warned.

“Over just the past few weeks, the daily number of cases have gone from an average of about 2,000, to more than 5,000,” Mr Abbott said on Sunday.

Several southern and western states have recorded a surge in cases after lockdown restrictions were eased.

The number of reported infections in the US has now surpassed 2.5 million.

Over 125,000 Covid-19 patients are confirmed to have died nationwide – more than in any other country.

The virus has now been linked to more than 500,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

What’s the latest on the surge in US cases?

The spike has led officials in Texas, Florida and other states to tighten restrictions on business again, with warnings that hospitals may soon be overwhelmed.

On Sunday, Mr Abbott said that as many as 5,000 people a day were being admitted to hospital for treatment.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said that Texas would be issued additional Covid-19 testing kits for as long was necessary.

“We are going to make sure that Texas, and your healthcare system in Texas, have the resources, have the supplies, have the personnel to meet this moment,” Mr. Pence said.

The vice-president also urged Texans to wear masks “wherever it’s indicated”, saying “we know from experience, it will slow the spread of the coronavirus,

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was speaking at a joint news conference with Governor Abbott on Sunday, said that a nationwide mandate to wear face coverings was “definitely long overdue”.

“We have the worst record of any country in the world,” she added.

In the Texas state capital of Austin, a requirement to wear face coverings in some circumstances in order to help mitigate the spread of the virus led to demonstrations on the city’s streets by people objecting to the measure.

On Sunday, Arizona also recorded a record daily increase of more than 3,800 cases. Hundreds of people reportedly travelled to rivers in the state to escape the hot weather.

The reported increases in infections in southern and western states come after moves in recent weeks to re-open businesses, resulting in people from other areas pouring in.

Responding to the level of new cases, Mr Abbott last week told bars to close and limited restaurants’ indoor seating capacity to 50%. Restaurants had previously been allowed to operate at 75% capacity, and bars at 50%.

In the Texan town of Galena Park, east of Houston, the mayor imposed an overnight curfew on Saturday and warned that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also re-imposed restrictions, ordering bars in the state to stop serving alcohol on their premises.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in Los Angeles and six other counties on Sunday, warning that the virus had “not gone away”. He urged people to wear masks, follow guidance on hygiene and to “take this seriously”.