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Worldwide coronavirus cases 'top 30 million'

Coronavirus cases have spiked in parts of eastern Europe
Associated Press Reporters

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have topped 30 million worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

More than half of the total Covid-19 infections have been recorded in just three countries - the US, India and Brazil - according to the US university's tally.

The number increased by 10 million in just over a month; global cases passed 20 million on August 12.

The United States leads the country count with at least 6,675,560 reported cases, followed by India with at least 5,214,677 and Brazil at 4,455,386, the numbers showed.

Individual numbers could vary as the university's tally sometimes lags behind country reports.

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The US also leads in the number of deaths at 197,643, followed by Brazil at 134,935 and India with a death toll of 84,372, the tally showed.

In India, coronavirus cases have jumped by another 96,424 infections in the past 24 hours, showing little signs of slowing down.

The health ministry raised the nation's confirmed total since the pandemic began to more than 5.21 million. It said 1,174 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 84,372.

India is expected within weeks to surpass the reported infections seen in the United States, where more than 6.67 million people have been reported infected, the most in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a fresh appeal to people to use face masks and maintain social distancing as his government chalked out plans to handle big congregations expected during a major Hindu festival season, beginning next month.

There have been 129 more cases of Covid-19 recorded in the north

Meanwhile, Israel is set to go back into a full lockdown to try to contain an outbreak that has steadily worsened for months amid government infighting.

The three-week lockdown, beginning at 2pm local time (12pm BST) on Friday, will include the closure of many businesses, strict limits on public gatherings, and will largely confine people to within a kilometre (0.6 miles) of their homes.

The closures coincide with the Jewish High Holidays, when people typically visit their families and gather for large prayer services.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that even stricter measures may be needed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Elsewhere, New Zealand has reported no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus for the first time in more than five weeks as hopes rise that an outbreak discovered in Auckland last month has been stamped out.

Friday also marked the fourth consecutive day without any cases of community transmission. All recent cases have been found among quarantined travellers returning from abroad.

Authorities have still not pinpointed the origin of the August outbreak, which they believe was imported. Auckland was temporarily placed into lockdown as the country continued its strategy of trying to completely eliminate community spread of the virus.

New Zealand has reported a total of just over 1,800 cases and 25 deaths.

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