By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 511,000 people worldwide.Over 10.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 127,425 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:
8:30 a.m.: Lockdown returns to UK city of LeicesterThe British government is reimposing lockdown restrictions in Leicester following a spike in coronavirus infections. Non-essential shops and most schools in the central city will have to close again on Thursday, just two weeks after reopening. Meanwhile, Saturday’s loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants across England will not be taking place in Leicester.The city had “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week,” U.K. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers Monday. Hancock said the reimposed measures would be enforced by local police “in some cases.” It’s the country’s first such regional lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
7:53 a.m.: Hundreds of new cases reportedly linked to Myrtle Beach visitsHundreds of new coronavirus cases have been linked to recent trips to South Carolina’s popular resort city, Myrtle Beach, according to reports from local ABC affiliates.Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, told Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA-TV that around 100 teenagers from the area have tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting Myrtle Beach.”We’re starting to see more and more positive test results come in, and as we followed up on those, similarly, they had shared they had gone down to Myrtle Beach, at least the Myrtle Beach area,” Goodfriend said. “At least one group said there were about 40 folks staying in one house and they were having parties or being at parties with over 100 people in the house.”Dr. Molly O’Dell, director of communicable disease control with the Virginia Department of Health’s Roanoke City-Alleghany Districts, told Lynchburg, Virginia ABC affiliate WSET-TV that 130 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the area on Tuesday and that more than 100 of them are linked to Myrtle Beach visits.O’Dell recommended anyone returning home from Myrtle Beach to self-quarantine for 14 days and watch for symptoms.
7:11 a.m.: 100K cases per day ‘is where we’re heading,’ Harvard doctor warnsDr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, affirmed concerns voiced by the nation’s top infectious disease expert that the United States could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.”That is where we’re heading,” Jha told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, made the stark warning during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, saying, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around.”But Jha said “there are things we can do right now” to “avoid the fate that Dr. Fauci mentioned.””First and foremost, I think we need every state to have a mandatory mask law. I just think we can’t dither around on masks; everybody needs to be wearing one when they’re outside of their home,” he said. “Second is, I think we just can’t right now afford indoor gatherings; so no bars, I don’t even know if we can keep restaurants open, certainly not nightclubs. We’ve got to get very serious about that. And then we’ve got to keep pushing on testing and tracing.”If all else fails, “then you have to just essentially shut the state down,” Jha said.”We’ve got to get on top of this otherwise we’ll find ourselves with some very unappetizing choices,” he added. “A stay-at-home order, in my mind, is really the last thing that you do when nothing else has worked.”
6:43 a.m.: Washington state sees second-highest increase in casesWashington state reported 571 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking its second-highest single-day increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.The state’s highest single-day rise was set on June 19, when 619 new cases were confirmed.Overall, the Washington State Department of Health has reported 32,824 confirmed cases with 1,332 deaths.
6:02 a.m.: Tokyo Disneyland reopens for first time in four monthsTokyo Disneyland reopened Wednesday after being closed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.The 115-acre theme park in Urayasu, near Tokyo, has undertaken a new set of policies and safety measures to protect against COVID-19, such as temperature screenings and the mandatory use of face masks.Tickets to the park must be purchased online in advance. A limited number of guests will be allowed at a time in attractions, shops, restaurants and other facilities. Disney characters must maintain social distancing while greeting guests. Meanwhile, the park’s signature shows and parades remain suspended to avoid the formation of crowds, according to information posted on the Tokyo Disneyland website.Tokyo DisneySea also reopened in Urayasu on Wednesday. Both parks suspended operations on Feb. 29 due to coronavirus concerns.Tokyo, which has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, permitted the area’s amusement parks to reopen in mid-June, after the Japanese government completely lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May.The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.
5:35 a.m.: US reports nearly 44,800 new cases in one dayNearly 44,800 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.The latest daily caseload is just under the country’s record high of more than 45,000 new cases identified last Friday.The national total currently stands at 2,636,538 diagnosed cases with at least 127,425 deaths.The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up to over 30,000 and then crossing 40,000 last week.Nearly half of all 50 states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — such as Florida, South Carolina and Georgia — reporting daily records.
3:38 a.m.: Europe reopens borders but US travelers remain barredThe European Union began opening its external borders on Wednesday, but travelers from the United States aren’t among those allowed to visit.EU ambassadors have agreed on lifting travel restrictions for 15 countries based on the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including Australia, Canada, South Korea and Tunisia. China was also included on the list but with a caveat — the country must reciprocate by allowing EU travelers to visit.Countries where coronavirus infections are on the rise were excluded from the list, noticeably the United States, Russia and Brazil.The criteria requires that the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 people is similar or below that of the EU’s. According to The New York Times, the average among the 27 countries within the EU was 16 in mid-June; in the United States, it was 107.The EU said countries must also have a “stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days.” The bloc will consider the reliability of each nation’s data as well as what measures have been taken in response to their outbreaks, including contact tracing and testing. Reciprocity will also be taken into account.U.S. President Donald Trump suspended travelers from most European countries in March. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.