New COVID Cases Above 42,000 In US

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No relief is reported in coronavirus infections and deaths due to the disease in the United States, the country worst-affected by the pandemic.

With the addition of 42,884 coronavirus-related cases in the last 24 hours, total number of infections in the U.S. reached 7233946. 961 deaths in the same period took the total coronavirus death toll in the country to 206959.

Meanwhile, thousands of employees have been furloughed from U.S. airline companies as the pandemic continues to devastate the aviation industry.

In another major development, the U.S. Government has extended a ban on cruise ships sailing by one month considering the fact that travel on such vessels continues to pose the risk of coronavirus transmission.

On July 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had extended a 'No Sail Order" and Suspension of Further Embarkation until September 30.

At its expiry, CDC announced the extension of the No Sail Order for cruise ships through October 31. This order bans passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 people in U.S. waters.

During a seven month period between March and September, 3,689 COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths were reported on cruise ships in U.S. waters.

Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas provide evidence that cruise ship travel continues to transmit and amplify the spread of coronavirus - even when ships sail at reduced passenger capacities - and would likely spread the infection into U.S. communities if passenger operations were to resume prematurely in the United States, CDC said in a statement.

Recent passenger voyages in foreign countries continue to have outbreaks, despite cruise ship operators maintaining extensive health and safety protocols on board and spread to communities where passengers disembark.

CDC said it decided to extend the "No Sail Order" considering the continued spread of the pandemic worldwide, risk of resurgence in countries that have suppressed transmission, concerns related to restarting of cruising internationally, and need for additional time to assess industry measures to control potential Covid-19 transmission on board cruise ships with passengers without burdening public health.

Coronavirus has dealt the cruise ship industry a crippling blow, prompting companies such as Carnival Cruises to sell some of its vessels after reporting loss of billions. Ports around the world closed to cruise ships after multiple outbreaks occurred at sea.

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