Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The United States on Sunday recorded 55,187 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the total caseload of the world's hardest-hit country to 42,29,624. An additional 518 deaths brought the overall death toll to 146,909. After a drop in infection rate in the late spring, the US has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly in southern and western states such as California, Texas, Alabama and Florida. The last time the daily number of new cases clocked in below 60,000 was almost two weeks ago, on July 13. Scientists agree that an increase in death rates follows the spike in infections by three to four weeks. The daily death toll for the past four days exceeded 1,000.
Here are the latest updates on the pandemic:
• As US struggles to control its virus outbreak, China recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday -- the highest daily figure since April -- propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, according to the National Health Commission, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July. Fourteen domestic cases were also recorded in the northeastern province of Liaoning where a fresh cluster broke out in the city of Dalian last week. Two more local cases were found in the neighbouring province of Jilin near the North Korean border -- the first since late May. The last four infections confirmed on Monday were imported from overseas.
• Saudi Arabia on Wednesday begins hosting the annual hajj pilgrimage, dramatically downscaled due to the coronavirus pandemic that has barred millions of international pilgrims for the first time in modern history. Up to 10,000 people residing in the kingdom will participate in the Muslim ritual, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million that attended last year, after what many saw as an opaque selection process that left a wave of applicants rejected. The foreign press are barred from this year's hajj, usually a huge global media event, as the government tightens access to the holy city of Mecca and puts in place strict health restrictions to prevent a virus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage -- a key pillar of Islam.
• Japan's companies spent less than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year, revised data showed on Monday, suggesting the coronavirus pandemic's hit to the economy was deeper than first thought. Capital expenditure rose just 0.1% in January-March from the same period a year earlier, government data showed, much lower than the preliminary reading of 4.3% growth reported last month. The weaker data, which is used to calculate revised gross domestic figures (GDP) due next Monday, signalled the world's third-largest economy shrank at a faster pace than initially estimated in the first quarter, said analysts. "There's no mistake that there will be a downward revision (of GDP)," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.
• Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the U.S. novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Reuters tally. Total COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. New York is in third place with 415,827 cases. Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any U.S. state at more than 32,000 with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths. On average, Florida has added more than 10,000 cases a day in July while California has been adding 8,300 cases a day and New York has been adding 700 cases.