The world saw the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases on Sunday, with more than 183,000 new cases being reported in a 24-hour period.
As The Associated Press reported, the World Health Organization said that Brazil saw the largest increase on Sunday with 54,771 news cases being reported, followed by the United States with 36,617 new cases. India saw 15,400 new reported cases.
The agency noted that more than two-thirds of new deaths reported on Saturday came in the Americas, pushed largely by the increases seen in the United States and Brazil.
The increase comes as many countries have moved away from the more strict lockdown measures put in place earlier in the year. The report noted that Spain ended its national state of emergency, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. A number of American states have also loosened restrictions, allowing non-essential businesses to reopen and permitting some small gatherings of people.
This has also led to controversy as some public health experts have pushed back against some reopening, cautioning that if it is done too rapidly or without proper testing, it could lead to a surge in new cases. That has been the case in some of America’s southern states, where coronavirus cases have been on the increase. Florida, which faced criticism for reopening its economy before other states and when many warned it was not yet safe to do so, has seen some of its largest one-day increases in the last week.
That has led to some warnings that the coronavirus may see a new resurgence and that predictions the virus’ spread may slow in the summer months do not appear to be coming true. Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said it appears the virus could spread like a “forest fire,” moving to wherever it can.
“Wherever there’s wood to burn, this fire’s gonna burn,” he said, via The Week.
There is still hope that there could be a vaccine within the coming months, and some potential indications that the virus itself could be weakening. Infectious diseases specialist Matteo Bassetti told the Telegraph that he believes COVID-19 has been losing its virulence and could potentially die out on its own before a vaccine is created. He noted that patients who previously would have died from the disease have now been recovering, an encouraging sign for its future spread.