COVID-19: Polish President Duda tests positive; worldwide cases grow to 42.6M

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Oct. 24 (UPI) — Polish President Andrzej Duda announced Saturday he tested positive for COVID-19 as worldwide cases of the virus rose to 42.6 million with deaths hitting 1.15 million.

Cases of COVID-19 surged around the world to 42.6 million, with 1,152,061 deaths, growing by about 1 million cases every three days, according to international trackers.

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At least 490,000 new cases and 6,541 deaths were reported globally for Friday, according to Worldometers. On Wednesday, deaths reached 6,845, the highest number since Aug. 19.

Duda is among those new cases reported this week, the Polish government said.

Duda “is well and is currently in isolation,” tweeted government spokesman Błażej Spychalski.

Poland reported 13,368 new cases for Friday with 179 fatalities — record highs for both figures. The country has seen a total of 241,946 cases since the pandemic began and 4,351 deaths.

European countries have seen a surge in cases in recent days, collectively reporting at least 150,000 cases and 1,400 deaths on Friday. There’s been an increase on new lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings.

Russia reported 16,521 new cases and 296 deaths for Friday. Despite the surge, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday the country would not be announcing any new lockdowns or restrictions.

“Regarding the possibility of severe, total, restrictive measures, we aren’t planning to do this,” Putin said in televised remarks. “The government doesn’t have any such plans.”

The United States remains the country with the highest number of deaths, with 229,551 reported as of Saturday among more than 8.7 million total cases. Active U.S. cases reached a record one-day high of 83,000 on Saturday.

Brazil had the second-highest number of deaths, with 156,565 reported as of Saturday. India reported the second-highest number of cases with 7.8 million and the third-highest fatality numbers of 118,236. Brazil is third in infections with 5.3 million reported as of Saturday.

Meanwhile, parts of Britain were more tightly zoned for restrictions, and Wales began a 17-day lockdown with all but essential businesses closed in the hopes that the country could re-open in time for families to gather for the Christmas holidays.

In Ireland, which has seen 1,878 deaths and 55,261 cases, the Irish Cabinet voted Wednesday to impose the highest level restrictions for six weeks.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron warned that the country would need to learn to live with the virus “at best until next summer.” France has instituted a curfew, and the government is mulling more restrictive lockdowns depending on how cases proceed into November.

France reported 42,668 new cases as of Friday, and 299 new deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

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