US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases to Europe's alarm

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Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States (US) hit 5 million Sunday.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States (US) hit 5 million Sunday.

ROME — With confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States (US) hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe, AP reported.

Perhaps nowhere outside the US, is America's bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe's epidemic.

Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world's highest official death tolls at 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn't have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

More than 19.72 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 726,249 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Meanwhile, Britain reported 1,062 new positive tests for coronavirus on Sunday, the highest daily rise in new COVID-19 infections since late June, at a time of new local lockdowns in some areas and worries over a second wave of infections.

Official data showed 1,062 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, going over the 1,000 new daily cases mark for the first time since June, and 304 higher than the 758 new cases reported on Saturday. — SPA


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