he United States has recorded 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, while almost 20 million people are infected worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Outside of the US, Brazil recorded more than 3 million cases, while Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic, still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza has not shied away from criticising the US, officially condemning as “wrong” Washington’s decision to withhold funding from the World Health Organization and expressing amazement at President Donald Trump’s virus response.

With America’s list-leading 160,000 dead, politicised resistance to masks and rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely travelling to the bloc.

France and Germany have imposed tests on arrival for travellers from “at-risk” countries, the US included.

In the US, new cases are running at about 54,000 a day — an immensely high number even when taking into account the country’s larger population. And while that is down from a peak of well over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states and deaths are climbing in most.

In contrast, at least for now, Europe appears to have the virus somewhat under control.

Image Credit:  Reuters: Jim Young

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