Nearly 29 Million COVID Cases Worldwide


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There are almost 29 million COVID-19 infections worldwide.

The United States remains the country with the most infections, with more than 6.4 million cases.

India has eclipsed Brazil to take over the second spot with 4.7 million cases. Infections in India's largest state, Maharashtra, home to financial capital Mumbai, topped 1 million Saturday, stifling the country's attempts to reinvigorate its economy.

Brazil has 4.3 million cases.

An article in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that universal face mask wearing "might help reduce the severity of disease and ensure that a greater proportion of new infections are asymptomatic."

If that premise is correct, the article suggested, face mask wearing could become a form of inoculation "that would generate immunity and thereby slow the spread of the virus" during the global wait for the development of a vaccine.

The daily number of new coronavirus cases reached an all-time high of 1,007 Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, surpassing levels during a May peak. Authorities warned residents last week to comply with preventive measures when daily infections jumped fivefold over a month ago.

On the Greek Islands of Lesbos Saturday, asylum seekers peacefully protested the construction of a replacement camp after successive fires this week destroyed the overcrowded Maria camp, forcing them sleep in the open for a fourth consecutive night.

The protesters were demanding to leave the island after the camp, built to accommodate 2,750 people, became so overcrowded that the fires left more than 12,000 in need of emergency shelter. Officials said the fires were deliberately set by some camp residents angered about the imposition of new lockdown measures after 35 people tested positive for COVID-19.

The British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has resumed trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after getting permission from safety monitors, the company announced Saturday.

"Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, have resumed in the UK following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority that it was safe to do so," the company said in a statement.

The pharmaceutical company paused the trials Tuesday because a volunteer participant became ill after receiving the experimental drug. The company issued a statement that day saying the pause in testing was a "routine action, which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials."

AstraZeneca's drug is one of nine vaccine candidates in late stage Phase 3 human trials around the world.

The company began enrolling 30,000 volunteers August 31, and the vaccine was being tested in smaller groups in Brazil and in other South American countries before the trials were temporarily suspended.