Coronavirus updates | WHO warns of 'dangerous' variants as cases rise globally

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Thursday that "more dangerous" variants of Covid-19 could tear across the world as global infections soared to half a million daily, largely driven by the virulent Delta strain.

An AFP tally of official sources found that after an initial dip, cases have been rising again worldwide since the end of June, topping 540,000 on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Maharashtra’s active COVID-19 case tally sees an uptick

Maharashtra again saw a marginal case rise on Thursday, reporting a spike of 8,010 new COVID-19 cases as opposed to just 7,391 recoveries, as the active case tally, which had dipped in the past few days, rose incrementally to 1,07,205.

The death toll remained comparatively low, with a total of 170 deaths pushing the State’s cumulative fatalities to 1,26,560, with the case fatality rate standing at 2.04%. The fatalities were chiefly concentrated in western Maharashtra, with Kolhapur, Pune and Satara reporting the maximum fatalities and cases.

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U.S. Surgeon General says he lost 10 family members to COVID-19

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, an Indian American, said he lost as many as 10 family members both here and in India to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 15, 2021. | Photo Credit: AP


Dr. Murthy, who is occupying the position for the second time, said this at a White House briefing making a strong case for people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

“On a personal note, it’s painful for me to know that nearly every death we are seeing now from COVID-19 could have been prevented. I say that as someone who has lost 10 family members to COVID-19 and who wishes each and every day that they had had the opportunity to get vaccinated,” Dr. Murthy said.

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