By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 903,000 people worldwide.
Over 27.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.
The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 6.36 million diagnosed cases and at least 190,869 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 747,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 667,000 cases and over 652,000 cases respectively.
Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least six of which are in crucial phase three trials.
Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:
Sep 10, 10:32 am
Assange’s extradition case halted over coronavirus fears
The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been brought to a halt in London after it was revealed that a lawyer representing the U.S. government may have been exposed to COVID-19 and was being tested.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser agreed to a request from Assange’s defense team to adjourn the hearing until the attorney in question, who hasn’t been identified, had received the test results.
“Last night, I was informed that one of the barristers in the case may have been exposed to the virus,” Baraitser said at London’s Old Bailey court on Thursday. “I am told the testing process will be known at some time tomorrow. Whilst the situation is uncertain the hearing should be adjourned until the outcome is known.”
The judge asked both parties for submissions on what to do next if the test comes back positive.
Assange, 49, is accused of conspiring to hack into U.S. government computers and violating an espionage law for releasing documents through WikiLeaks in 2010-2011. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.
The Australian native was arrested in April 2019 at Ecuador’s embassy in London, where had been holed up for almost seven years to avoid extradition.
Sep 10, 9:20 am
Nearly 70% of inmates at Virginia jail test positive so far
Nearly 70% of inmates at a jail in central Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
The Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, some 20 miles north of Richmond, announced in a press release Wednesday that 124 of 178 inmates who have been tested for COVID-19 have received positive results. Moreover, 20 of 129 staff members who were tested also had positive results.
The jail has a total population of 380 inmates, who will now all be tested for COVID-19, according to a report by Richmond ABC affiliate WRIC-TV.
The jail said the vast majority of those infected were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. To date, there have been no hospitalizations or deaths.
“Immediately upon receiving offender results on Monday afternoon, affected individuals were identified and isolated from the general population,” the Pamunkey Regional Jail said in the statement. “In an abundance of caution, the jail facility remains on lockdown, pending additional offender testing in collaboration with health department officials.”
The jail said it was informed of the first pair of positive COVID-19 cases among its staff on Aug. 20 — two employees who were immediately instructed to self-isolate. The third positive case was a jail contractor on Aug. 28, followed by a fourth employee on Aug. 31. Each case was individually reported to the local health department.
The first inmate to test positive for COVID-19 was on Sept. 3, after being isolated with cold-like symptoms within the facility for over a week. The local health department then arranged for all jail staff to be tested and performed testing among inmates “in areas where deemed necessary,” according to jail officials.
“All affected employees were placed on emergency paid leave, and all offenders continue to be appropriately treated by medical staff, who provide 24/7 on-site patient care,” the jail said.
Sep 10, 6:02 am
France extends furlough scheme ‘until next summer’
The French government will continue paying up to 84% of salaries for furloughed workers “until next summer” due to prolonged economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, labor minister Elisabeth Borne announced Thursday on France’s BFM television.
France has already spent tens of billions of euros on the temporary unemployment scheme since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to save jobs. Last week, the government unveiled a 100 billion euro (approximately $118 billion) stimulus plan to help revive its hard-hit economy.
France, along with other European nations, has seen a rise in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, as people returned to work and school.
France’s national public health agency reported 8,577 new cases on Wednesday, the country’s second-highest daily increase in COVID-19 infections so far, bringing its cumulative total to 344,101 cases with 30,794 deaths.
Sep 10, 4:37 am
Israel records its highest number of new cases
Israel confirmed 3,904 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest day-to-day increase yet.
There were 43,500 COVID tests performed across the Middle Eastern country on Wednesday, with a positivity rate of 9%. Overall, more than 142,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease and at least 1,054 have died, according to the latest data from the Israeli Ministry of Health.
Since Tuesday, some 40 cities and towns across Israel have remained under a nightly curfew as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Sep 10, 4:13 am
India reports another record rise in cases
India confirmed 95,735 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, marking yet another single-day record increase in infections across the country.
The country’s cumulative total now stands at 4.46 million cases with 75,062 deaths, after another 1,172 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
India has the second-highest tally of cases in the world and the third-highest death toll in the coronavirus pandemic, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
India’s health ministry said the surge in new infections is due to increased testing, with more than one million tests now being conducted each day across the vast country of 1.3 billion people. So far, nearly 3.3 million people in India have recovered from COVID-19.
Sep 10, 4:09 am
US daily death toll shoots back up over 1,000
An additional 1,206 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the United States on Wednesday, a nearly threefold increase from the previous day, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s latest daily death toll from COVID-19 — the highest since Aug. 26 — is still under its record set on April 17, when there were 2,666 new fatalities in a 24-hour reporting period.
There were also 34,256 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed across the United States on Wednesday, down from a peak of 77,255 new cases reported on July 16.
A total of 6,336,107 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 190,869 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.
Last week, an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News showed the number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States had ticked upward while new deaths had decreased in week-over-week comparisons.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.