As global COVID-19 cases surpassed 30 million on Thursday, United Nations (UN) officials again urged the international community to strengthen solidarity and cooperation.
The global case count reached 30,003,378, with a total of 942,989 deaths worldwide as of 6:22 p.m. local time (2222 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The United States remained the worst-hit country in the world, with 6,669,322 infections and 197,554 deaths. India recorded 5,118,253 cases, ranking second worldwide in terms of total confirmed cases. Brazil followed India with 4,419,083 cases, and has registered the world’s second biggest death toll of 134,106.
Countries with more than 650,000 cases also include Russia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa, while other countries with over 35,000 deaths include India, Mexico, Britain and Italy, according to the CSSE.
Global cases topped 10 million on June 28, and rose to 20 million 43 days later. Then it took only 38 days for the number to grow from 20 million to 30 million.
On Thursday, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Mexico and the United States will continue to ban non-essential border crossings until Oct. 21.
On the same day, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott nevertheless announced that COVID-19 restrictions will be loosened in most areas of the state from Monday.
The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America and one of the hardest hit cities by the pandemic, has also authorized the restart of in-person classes at universities from Oct. 7.
Amid an ever-ballooning global caseload, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Thursday urged the world’s major countries to work together to contain the pandemic.
“The most important (way) is to keep the dialogue going. What has happened with major powers and these tensions is in fact to miss the opportunity of being able to face this pandemic head-on with everyone on board,” Mohammed told reporters, adding, “that really has taken us a few steps back.”
“So what happens in the global arena, we must continue to close the gap between what is an unfortunate reality and what needs to be for our powers to come together to get the job done,” she said.
Also on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding risks to peace everywhere.
“It poses an enormous threat to people caught up in conflict, which is why I made an immediate appeal for a global ceasefire,” he said at the UN peace bell ceremony on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the International Day of Peace, which is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21.