GENEVA – The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours.
The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 tallied cases and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India.
Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors, including more extensive testing as well as broader infection.
Overall in the pandemic, WHO reported 8,708,008 cases – 183,020 in the last 24 hours – with 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4,743.
More than two-thirds of those new deaths were reported in the Americas.
In Spain, officials ended a state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. The country also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel.
But there was only a trickle of hangover at Madrid-Barajas Airport, which on a typical June day would be bustling.
“This freedom that we now have, not having to justify our journey to see our family and friends, was something that we were really looking forward to,” Pedro Delgado, 23, said after arriving from Spain’s Canary Islands.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged people to take maximum precautions: “The virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all costs.”
At a rally campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump said Saturday the U.S. has tested 25 million people, but the “bad part” is that it found more cases.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on CNN that Trump was “tongue-in-cheek” and made the comment in a “light mood.”
Democratic rival Joe Biden’s campaign accused Trump of “putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people.”
The U.S. has the highest number of reported infections, over 2.2 million, and the highest death toll, at about 120,000, according to Johns Hopkins. Health officials say robust testing is vital for tracking outbreaks and keeping the virus in check.