US hits 5 million confirmed virus cases

Coronavirus

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

(News Nation) — Confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.

With America’s world’s-highest death toll of more than 160,000 and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely traveling to the bloc.

France and Germany are now imposing tests on arrival for travelers from “at risk” countries, the U.S. included.

“I am very well aware that this impinges on individual freedoms, but I believe that this is a justifiable intervention,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said last week.

The virus is still raging in some Balkan countries, and thousands of maskless protesters demanded an end to virus restrictions in Berlin earlier this month. Hard-hit Spain, France and Germany have seen infection rebounds with new cases topping 1,000 a day, and Italy’s cases inched up over 500 on Friday. Britain is still seeing an estimated 3,700 new infections daily, and some scientists say the country’s beloved pubs might have to close again if schools are to reopen in September without causing a new wave.

Europe as a whole has seen over 207,000 confirmed virus deaths, by Johns Hopkins’ count.

In the U.S., new cases are running at about 54,000 a day — a high number even when taking into account the country’s larger population. And while that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths, which experts say lag infection onset by two to three weeks, are climbing in most.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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