Coronavirus: WHO reports another record jump in daily infections

Global case total closes in on 13 million as death toll passes 20,000 in Middle East

The World Health Organisation reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

Global coronavirus cases were approaching 13 million on Sunday, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed close to 567,000 people in seven months.

The death toll from the virus in the Middle East passed 20,000 on Sunday as the number of reported infections reached 907,736.

Iran, which accounts for 12,829 of the deaths in the region, has been struggling to contain a resurgence of its outbreak that began in February.

Iran's 257,303 cases make it the ninth worst-affected country in the world but its daily infection rate declined before starting to rise again since early May.

The country on Sunday reported another 194 deaths, for a total of 12,829, and 2,186 new cases.

Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on its more than 80 million people to observe health precautions to slow down the spread of the virus.

"Let everyone play their part in the best way to break the chain of transmission in the short term and save the country," Mr Khamenei said in a video conference with legislators.

Neighbouring Iraq is the second-most affected nation in the region bounded by Iran in the north and east, Israel in the west and Yemen in the south.

Iraq has recorded 3,055 deaths and 75,194 infections, followed by Saudi Arabia with 2,181 deaths and 229,480 infections.

Iran also ranks as the region's worst-affected country, with 153 deaths for every million people – 25th worldwide – followed by Kuwait with 90 deaths for every million and Saudi Arabia with 63.

The average number of deaths in the region is 43 for every million people, against a global average of about 70, AFP estimated.

The Middle East represents about 3.5 per cent of all global deaths, far behind Europe at one third, North America at one quarter, and Latin America and the Caribbean, also one quarter.

The US accounts for nearly 3.4 million cases and is experiencing record surges in daily infections.

Florida setting a new high for a single state with 15,300 new cases reported on Sunday.

Brazil is also reporting large daily increases, with 5,437 new cases taking its total to 1,846,249, according to a tally by Worldometer.

But the 28,155 cases reported by India, the third worst-affected country, with 878,513 infections, was the highest 24-hour increase among all countries on Sunday.

Updated: July 13, 2020 11:10 AM

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