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Texas halts reopening as US virus cases surge

2020-06-26 HKT 04:10
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  • Cars line up at a drive-through testing site in San Diego. California is one of several states to see record virus figures this week. Photo: Reuters
    Cars line up at a drive-through testing site in San Diego. California is one of several states to see record virus figures this week. Photo: Reuters
The governor of Texas temporarily halted the state's reopening on Thursday as Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions surged in the state and new daily cases around the country climbed to a near-record high.

Texas, which has been at the forefront of efforts to reopen devastated economies shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, has seen one of the biggest jumps in new cases, reporting over 6,000 in a single day on Monday.

"This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business," Governor Greg Abbott, a two-term Republican, said in a statement.

Texas has also set record hospital admissions for 13 days in a row. Abbott has suspended elective surgeries in the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas to free up hospital bed space.

Texas' rising numbers are part of a nationwide resurgence in states that were spared the brunt of the initial outbreak or moved early to lift restrictions on residents and businesses.

Also reporting record rises in cases this week were Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

While some of the increased numbers of cases can be attributed to more testing, the percentage of positive results is also climbing.

More than 36,000 new US cases were recorded on Wednesday, a few hundred shy of the record 36,426 on April 24.

Government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official counts, indicating many people without symptoms have or have had the disease, senior administration officials said.

People who have Covid-19 but show no symptoms are capable of spreading the disease, health experts say. (Reuters)