According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, the United States set a grim double record on Wednesday, notching more than 3,700 deaths and more than 250,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.
For more than a month now the world has seen a spectacular increase in COVID infections, with some 113,000 people currently hospitalized due to the virus, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, also a new record.
The tally marks the third time that the United States has crossed the threshold of 3,000 deaths in the past week. At the height of the country’s first wave, which never fully stopped, the previous 24-hour record was set in late April.
Over the past two weeks, for 11 out of 14 days, the number of new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours has risen above 200,000.
The exact death toll on Wednesday was 3,784 deaths over the previous 24 hours leading up to 8:30 pm (0130 GMT Thursday).
After millions of Americans traveled to join friends and relatives, health officials had feared that the US Thanksgiving holiday in late November would lead to a fresh outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Following the end of the year celebrations, including the Christmas holiday, analysts now fear the situation will get much direr.
Even as the United States is witnessing the first week of a mass vaccination campaign to stop the surging pandemic, new records have been raised.
The first injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were administered in the United States on Monday, while officials warn that there will still be months before a sufficient proportion of the population is immunized.
The US Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday, faced with the severity of the situation and concerns of vaccine shortages, that six or even seven doses could be squeezed out of vials that were meant to contain just five doses to avoid discarding the unused vaccine.
At this point, given the public health emergency, the FDA recommends that any full dose obtainable is appropriate to use,” it said in a tweet, adding that Pfizer was on board with the recommendation.”