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WHO reports largest single-day increase in global coronavirus cases

World·THE LATEST

The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours.

World Health Organization reports largest single-day increase in global cases

A person reacts as a sample is collected by a health worker during a COVID-19 test in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday.(Dita Alangkara/The Associated Press)

The latest:

The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours.

The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India.

Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors including more widespread testing as well as broader infection.

Overall in the pandemic, WHO reported 8,708,008 cases — 183,020 in the last 24 hours — with 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4,743. More than two-thirds of those new deaths were reported in the Americas.

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Spain on Sunday ended a national state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. Spain also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and countries in Europe's visa-free Schengen travel zone to boost its vital tourism sector.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged people to exercise maximum public health precautions, saying that even though Europe is stabilizing, the virus is running rampant on other continents.

"The warning is clear," Sanchez said. "The virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all cost."

People wearing protective face masks sit on a bench as pedestrians pass by in Barcelona on Sunday.(Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press)

The number of confirmed virus cases is still growing rapidly in Brazil, South Africa, the United States and other countries, especially in Latin America.

Brazil now has a total of 1,085,038 confirmed cases and 50,617 deaths, the Health Ministry said Sunday.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his handling of the crisis. The country still has no permanent health minister after losing two since April, following clashes with the president.

Bolsonaro has shunned social distancing — calling it a job-killing measure more dangerous than the virus itself — and has also promoted two anti-malarial drugs as remedies, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, despite little evidence they work.

A person wears a protective face mask featuring an image of Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro during a demonstration to support the president in Brasilia on Sunday.(Adriano Machado/Reuters)

South Africa reported a one-day high of 4,966 new cases on Saturday and 46 deaths. Despite the increase, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a further loosening of one of the world's strictest lockdowns. Casinos, beauty salons and sit-down restaurant service will reopen.

In the United States, the virus appeared to be spreading across the west and south. Arizona reported 3,109 new infections, just short of Friday's record, and 26 deaths. The state of Nevada also reported a new high of 445 cases.

In Europe, one meatpacking plant in northwest Germany alone has 1,029 cases, so the regional government issued a quarantine for all 6,500 workers, managers and family members at the Toennies meat processing facility in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck.

Red Cross workers distribute bread to residents of a house that has been quarantined in Verl, Germany, on Sunday.(David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government will announce next week whether Britain will ease social distancing rules for people to remain two metres apart.

Business groups are lobbying for that to be cut to one metre to make it easier to reopen pubs, restaurants and schools, but that could also lead to more infections.

Britain has Europe's highest virus death toll — and the world's third-highest — at more than 42,500 dead.

People practice physical distancing as they queue for take away drinks at a pub in Folkestone, U.K., on Sunday.(Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)

In Asia, China and South Korea reported new coronavirus cases Sunday in outbreaks that threatened to set back their recoveries.

Chinese authorities reported 25 new confirmed cases — 22 in Beijing and three in neighbouring Hebei province.

They said 2.3 million people have been tested to contain the outbreak in the capital that has led to the closure of its biggest wholesale food market. The Ming Tombs, a tourist site northwest of Beijing, was closing its indoor areas as a precaution.

People wearing face masks queue to take a COVID-19 test in Beijing on Sunday.(Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

In South Korea, authorities reported 48 new cases. Half were in the capital, Seoul. Ten were in the central city of Daejong, suggesting the virus was spreading more widely as lockdown measures are relaxed.

Nearly 200 infections have been traced to employees at a door-to-door sales company in Seoul and at least 70 other infections are tied to a table tennis club there, but South Korean officials are reluctant to enforce stronger social distancing to avoid hurting the country's fragile economy.

In the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority reimposed restrictions in the West Bank after 86 people tested positive. Access to the city of Hebron was suspended and residents were put under a five-day curfew. The city of Nablus is to be isolated for two days.

A baker wearing a protective mask puts bread out to cool in the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday.(Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government will weigh possible steps to halt the spread of the coronavirus after the country has seen a major uptick of more than 300 confirmed cases in recent days.

What's happening in Canada

As of 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 101,337 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, with 63,886 of the cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial information, regional health data and CBC's reporting stood at 8,471.

Quebec and Ontario continue to lead other provinces and territories for having the highest daily counts of confirmed infections.

People wearing protective face masks are seen in Montreal on Sunday.(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Ontario added 175 new cases on Sunday for a total of 33,476. Quebec recorded 124 new cases for a total of 54,766 cases.

All regions of Ontario except for Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex entered Stage 2 of the province's phased reopening plan on Friday.

The second stage includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools. Child-care centres across Ontario can also reopen.

People practice yoga in outdoor domes to facilitate social distancing in Toronto on Sunday.(Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

With files from Reuters and CBC News

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