The pandemic’s pace is accelerating, especially in Asia and Latin America.
The coronavirus pandemic’s pace is quickening worldwide, with nearly 700,000 new known infections reported in the last week after the pathogen found greater footholds in Latin America and the Gulf States.
The virus has infected more than 5.7 million people around the world and killed nearly 360,000, according to data compiled by The New York Times. And it was only last Thursday that the world crossed the dispiriting threshold of five million cases.
Each day is bringing more grim tallies. Through May 20, there had been just one day when the world learned of at least 100,000 new cases. Since then, six-figure case increases have been reported four times, a signal of the virus’s still-devastating reach even as more of the world’s most powerful economies sputter into reopenings.
Outbreaks have accelerated especially sharply in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, with caseloads doubling in some countries about every two weeks. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization said it considered the Americas to be the new epicenter of the pandemic.
And although much of the Middle East seemed to avert early catastrophe even as the virus ravaged Iran, case counts have lately been swelling in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea reported 79 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily count since April 5. The Philippines reported a single-day record of 539 new cases, even as President Rodrigo Duterte said the country would ease its lockdown rules in greater Manila by June 1. And India reported more than 6,500 new cases, bringing its known case tally to nearly 160,000.
Many of the world’s wealthiest countries have slowed their outbreaks, if only marginally in some instances. In the United States, which has recorded more than 100,000 deaths, more than any other country, the growth rate has stabilized. But experts believe that its known infections — at least 1.7 million so far — are still being undercounted.
New cases are decreasing in France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom after outbreaks that left them with some of the world’s highest death tolls, with a total of more than 126,000 fatalities.
Eight dancers from the Ballet du Rhin were partway through a class at their studio in eastern France, recently, when the director, Bruno Bouché, asked them to perform a short routine, heavy on pirouettes, in socially distanced pairs.
Alice Pernão, 22, one of the first dancers to try, performed the spins with the relish of a dancer moving her limbs fully for the first time in months.
But as soon as she finished, Ms. Pernão performed a little extra routine that dancers worldwide might soon have to get used to: She flipped her face mask off an ear, and, breathing heavily, rushed back to her place at the barre to gulp down some water.
She then disinfected her hands with gel, put the mask back on, and tried to catch her breath for the next exercise.
The Ballet du Rhin, which is in Mulhouse, this month became the first company in France to return to work, having agreed on measures with the local authorities. Across Europe, other dance companies have also started practicing again to varying degrees.
One in 10 diabetic patients with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, died within a week of being hospitalized, according to a study published on Thursday by French researchers in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Another 20 percent were put on ventilators to assist with breathing by the end of their first week in the hospital. Just 18 percent were discharged within a week.
“I don’t want to scare people, but what is true is we did not expect to see such high mortality, with 10 percent of people admitted dying in the first seven days,” said Dr. Samy Hadjadj, a professor of endocrinology at the University of Nantes in France and one of the authors of the paper.
A majority of patients in the study had Type 2 diabetes. Many people with diabetes also have a cardiovascular disease, which raises the risk of death in Covid-19 patients.
The new study, which included 1,317 patients at 53 French hospitals, found that microvascular injuries — involving tiny blood vessels supplying the eyes, kidneys and peripheral nerves — were also linked to a higher risk of death.
Obstructive sleep apnea also raised the risk of early death in these patients, while obesity and advanced age were linked to a greater likelihood of severe disease, the study found.
“This is serious,” Dr. Hadjadj said. “If you have diabetes and are elderly or have complications, be very careful. Keep away from the virus. Go on with social distancing, wash your hands carefully, keep people away who can bring you the virus.”
Dr. Hadjadj added, “You are not the kind of person who can afford to disregard these rules.”
Pandemic relief programs, a lifeline for Americans, could run out this summer.
For millions of Americans left out of work by the pandemic, government assistance has been a lifeline preventing a plunge into poverty, hunger and financial ruin. This summer, that lifeline could snap.
The $1,200 checks sent to most households are long gone, at least for those who needed them most, with little imminent prospect for a second round. The lending program that helped millions of small businesses keep workers on the payroll will wind down if Congress does not extend it.
The latest sign of the economic strain and the government’s role in easing it came Thursday, when the Labor Department reported that millions more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. More than 40 million people have filed for benefits since the crisis began, and some 30 million are receiving them.
Here’s what else is happening:
Reporting was contributed by Roni Caryn Rabin, Jason Gutierrez, Choe Sang-Hun, Jin Wu, Alex Marshall and Jenny Gross.