Global Coronavirus Cases Surge Past 1M, Medical Equipment Remains In Shortage

The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases globally surged past 1 million late Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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New COVID-19 Cases Rise Daily

At least 53,160 people have been confirmed dead around the world, and 211,775 have recovered.

The United States remains the worst-affected country at 245,559 cases, more than twice than that of the second worst-hit country Italy. Six thousand and fifty-seven deaths have been confirmed in the country.

The number of new cases being reported daily continues to rise, with 30,000 being reported on Thursday alone, signaling that the pandemic hasn’t yet peaked out globally.

Governments across the globe are also continuing to impose citizen lockdowns for all non-essential services as a protective measure against the further spread of COVID-19 in their countries.

Medical Protective Gear Remains In Shortage

Healthcare workers continue to suffer from a shortage of protective gears. In the United States, President Donald Trump utilized the Defense Production Act on Thursday to take control over the operations of private companies, including veteran N95 mask maker 3M Co. MMM. The measure is supposed to help make more protective gear available in the country.

According to the New York Times, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is considering to recommend Americans wear “cloth masks” in public, and leave surgical and N95 masks for healthcare workers, who face increased risk from the virus due to continued exposure.

White House Coronavirus Task Force lead member Anthony Fauci has suggested that the development of Moderna Inc.’s MRNA COVID-19 vaccine is “on track” and can be expected in 12 to 18 months.

Other companies, including Johnson & Johnson JNJ and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. INO, are also working on developing their own vaccine.

The authorities are relying on containment measures at the moment, but some experts have suggested that a drug to treat COVID-19 could become available earlier than the vaccine.

A number of companies including automakers Tesla Inc. TSLA, the Ford Motor Company F, and the General Electric Company GE have stepped in to produce medical equipment.

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