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The US hits seven million cases, with California leading the way.

In the United States, more than seven million people are now infected with the coronavirus.

Although the milestone hit Thursday, according to a database from the New York Times, is sobering, it happens that infections have actually slowed in much of the country.

An average of 41,500 cases were reported daily in the US after the pandemic peaked in midsummer, although the number of cases is rising in the states of the Midwest and Western.

California officials recorded their 800,000th case since the pandemic began. This is more than any other state, but the number is cumulative and does not reflect the state's current state.

With California health officials testing enough of the population to contain the spread of the virus, the state is reporting a relatively small number of new cases each day, according to the Times database.

In a broader sense, California, the largest state in the country, has significantly fewer virus cases per capita than other states like Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. California currently ranks 36th among states and territories in known new cases per capita for the past seven days and 26th in total known cases per capita since the pandemic began.

Less than a month ago, the United States hit six million cases on August 30. It had taken the country more than three months to register its first million.

The story of how California led the country in the total number of cases dates back to the spring and summer months when new cases emerged in the Sun Belt states. New cases in California peaked in late July when the seven-day average doubled from the previous month.

It was a far cry from the beginning of the pandemic when most of the virus cases occurred in the northeast and Washington state, and California became a national role model when it became the first state to issue a stay at home.

But the number of cases there began to rise when that order was lifted.

Like health officials in many Sun Belt states, California authorities attributed the surge to premature relaxation of restrictions. In early July, when the number of virus-related hospitalizations in California rose more than 50 percent in two weeks, Governor Gavin Newsom halted reopening plans and ordered bars and restaurants to close to most residents.

California spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats on Thursday spearheaded the development of a roughly $ 2.4 trillion stimulus plan that was putting American families, restaurants and airlines under growing pressure from moderates calling for additional measures Legislature is leaving Washington next week to provide pandemic relief to fight for re-election.

The move to unveil a new package was the first sign of movement in the negotiations between the Democrats and the White House, which have stalled since early August, and it came when Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said he and wife Pelosi would have agreed to revive those talks. However, it was far from clear that the move the Democrats had in mind, costing about $ 1 trillion more than the Trump administration signaled it could accept, would result in a deal.

Ms. Pelosi privately told top Democrats that the House could vote anyway, which would allow fearful Democrats, who had been quietly looking for further stimulus measures, to at least register their support for additional relief. Earlier in the week she directed lawmakers to start work, a move Politico had previously reported on.

"We are still striving for an agreement," Ms. Pelosi told top Democrats, a person familiar with the remarks they disclosed on condition of anonymity, in a private meeting Thursday. "If necessary, we can formalize the application by voting on it on the floor of the house."

The proposed measure is much smaller than the $ 3.4 trillion package approved by Parliament in May. However, it is expected to contain some of the same items as well as additional funding for needs that Ms. Pelosi says have arisen in recent months.

With coronavirus cases skyrocketing in Myanmar and the largest city largely under lockdown, uncertainty rises about the potential impact on both the country's urban food supplies and a national election just six weeks away.

By mid-August, the nation had reported just a few hundred cases of 54 million people. But since then, the national case number has multiplied rapidly, reaching 8,515 on Friday. More than 1,000 infections were reported on Thursday alone.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, suggesting the virus has been spreading undetected for weeks.

"I think the government did not anticipate the scenario of rapidly rising cases," said U Aung Thu Nyein, an independent political analyst. “You were complacent. They should have been running random tests since the end of April to find the undiscovered cases. "

All domestic flights have been suspended and around 50,000 people are in preventive quarantine. However, the country's health system is by no means prepared for the pandemic.

The largest city, Yangon, has reported about 90 percent of the country's new cases. Approximately 400 patients were instructed to stay in tents at a local football stadium.

Officials are also wrestling over how to provide the residents of Yangon, also known as Rangoon, with food so they can stay at home – a major challenge in a country with limited resources.

"The government wants to support all seven million people in Yangon," said U Khin Maung Lwin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce. "But it will take time, and in this time of increasing positive cases, it will be difficult."

Another question is how to manage the campaign ahead of the November 8th parliamentary elections.

The country's civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose political party, the National League for Democracy, won in a landslide five years ago, is hoping to stay in power.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi suspended public appearances earlier this month as the official campaign season began. But it may be to their advantage that campaigns are banned in Yangon and in Rakhine state, the site of the first major outbreak.

Democracy activists and the main opposition party have called for the vote to be postponed to allow candidates to apply and to ensure voters can safely cast their ballots.

"Despite the pandemic, the minimum standards of the democratic electoral process must be guaranteed," said U Sai Ye Kyaw Swar Myint, the executive director of the People's Alliance for Credible Elections, an independent election observation group. "It is necessary to guarantee the right of political parties and candidates to campaign freely and collect support."

The annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro will be delayed for the first time in more than a century next year due to coronavirus concerns, the Brazilian news media reported Thursday.

During a typical carnival, which takes place in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere, wild street parties and performances paralyze the city of six million people.

But that could now be an epidemiologist's nightmare in a country that has so far reported more than 4.5 million cases and nearly 140,000 deaths, and whose president Jair Bolsonaro announced in July that he had tested positive.

In Rio de Janeiro alone, more than 250,000 cases have been reported, according to a New York Times database, of which more than 11,000 were in the past week.

The event's main organizer, Rio's League of Samba Schools, said Thursday that the parade could not take place safely as planned due to the February pandemic, O Globo newspaper reported. The league said it is reviewing other data.

"We'll have to wait the coming months to define whether or not there will be a vaccine and when there will be a vaccination," League president Jorge Castanheira told reporters on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. "We don't have the security to set an appointment."

It was unclear whether the street festivals that normally take place alongside the official parade would still take place.

The carnival was last postponed in 1912 after the death of the Brazilian Foreign Minister, The A.P. reported, but the revelers were still partying on the streets.

In other international news:

  • North KoreaThe leader, Kim Jong-un, rarely apologized on Friday for the murder of a South Korean fisheries officer who, according to South Korean officials, was shot dead by soldiers from the north at sea. Officials said the soldiers poured oil on the man's body and set him on fire for fear he might carry the coronavirus – a claim North Korea denied.

  • Israel The second national lockdown was tightened when new measures went into effect Friday requiring all but essential workers to stay home from work. The new restrictions, which apply in the middle of the Jewish Holy Days, only allow outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 20 people, all of whom must not be further than 1,000 meters from their homes.

The reporting was written by Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Mike Ives, Isabel Kershner, Saw Nang, Richard C. Paddock, Azi Paybarah, Alan Rappeport, Jeanna Smialek and Mitch Smith.


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