Shocking beach photos emerge as grim coronavirus record broken

Global daily coronavirus infections reached an all-time high on Sunday – but that was likely not on the minds of thousands of beachgoers who flocked to the coast in Brazil over the weekend.

The worst-hit South American country contributed 43,718 new infections to a global total of 307,930 in the previous 24 hours, according to the World Health Organisation.

Brazil’s new cases were only exceeded by India and the US, which recorded 94,372 and 45,523 new cases respectively.

Brazil also registered 874 deaths on Sunday – more than the 817 deaths Australia has recorded throughout the entire pandemic.

On Sunday, beaches across Rio de Janeiro were packed once again, a common sight throughout the pandemic as the nation reluctantly adhered to restrictions.

A bird's eye view of hundreds of people on a Rio beach on Sunday during the coronavirus pandemic.
Brazil's cases reported on Sunday contributed to the worst day in terms of global infections since the pandemic began. Source: Getty Images

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the virus, and pushed against health authorities to reopen the country.

Recreio and Pontal beaches were packed as temperatures soared beyond 30 degrees, with few signs of distancing and mask wearing.

While still recording alarming daily totals, infections are stubbornly lowering since its peak of 70,869 cases on July 29.

Yet Arnaldo Medeiros, secretary of Brazil’s Health Surveillance, has warned there is no time for complacency and stressed the importance of mask wearing and social distancing to ensure daily cases don’t rise again.

Hundreds of people in the ocean in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil is still recording tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases each day. Source: Getty Images

The previous WHO record for new cases was 306,857 on September 6. The agency reported a record 12,430 deaths on April 17.

India set another global record for new cases with 97,570 reported in a single day on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally.

In some parts of India, medical oxygen is becoming hard to find as total cases exceed 4.75 million.

Only the United States has recorded more cases at 6.5 million.

Europe facing second wave

COVID-19 infections are still rising in 58 countries, including surges in Argentina, Indonesia, Morocco, Spain and Ukraine, according to a Reuters analysis.

The Czech Republic reported its largest daily infections total for a third straight day on Sunday, recording 1541 cases.

On Saturday, France reported a record 10,561 infections as a host of European countries take measures to prevent a sweeping second wave ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

A graph showing a surge in new coronavirus cases in France, Spain and the UK. Source: Our World in Data
Europe is experiencing a resurgence in cases. Source: Our World in Data

Austria, which had success in controlling the virus in the early months of the pandemic, is also experiencing a surge in cases, with 869 new infections on Friday.

The UK, which has also seen a surge in cases in the last fortnight, has now implemented a new national restriction banning gatherings of more than six people.

It recorded nearly 7,000 cases over the weekend.

New cases are falling in the US, and are down about 44 per cent from a peak of more than 77,000 new cases reported on July 16.

with Reuters

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