By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 707,000 people worldwide.
Over 18.7 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 national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 158,256 deaths.
Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:
6:03 a.m.: Number of babies testing positive has nearly doubled in this Texas county
The number of babies testing positive for COVID-19 in Nueces County in southwest Texas has nearly doubled since mid-July, according to a report by Corpus Christi ABC affiliate KIII-TV.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 85 children under the age of 2 had tested positive for the virus in Nueces County by mid-July. Now, that number is “close to 167,” according to Annette Rodriguez, health director of the Corpus Christi Nueces County Public Health District.
“That number has almost doubled and that hasn’t been a very long time period,” Rodriguez told KIII.
5:28 a.m.: FEMA memo shows disproportionate number of non-white children dying from virus
A disproportionate number of non-white children are dying from the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to data released in an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night.
Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 cases among people under the age of 18 from March 1 to Aug. 3 were 40% Hispanic, 34% white and 19% Black. The ethnicity breakdown of those patients who died from the disease is 38% Hispanic, 34% Black and 25% white, according to the memo.
The gender breakdown of those cases is 50% male and 50% female. However, just as in adults, COVID-19 is more fatal among males under 18, making up 64% of the deaths compared to females under 18 accounting for 36%, according to the memo.
3:39 a.m.: US records over 52,000 new cases in a single day
More than 52,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
It’s the second straight day that the United States has recorded over 50,000 new cases. However, the latest daily caseload is still under the country’s record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.
A total of 4,823,892 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 158,256 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. 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 U.S. 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 the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.
Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records.
However, new data suggests that the national surge in cases could be leveling off, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night. Nationwide, the last week saw a 9.2% decrease in cases from the previous seven-day period. There was also a 7% increase in new deaths compared to the previous week, but the figure is lower than the 20-30% week-over-week increase the country has seen of late, according to the memo.
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