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US COVID Deaths Cross Quarter Of A Million; New Record In Daily Cases

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Daily COVID-19 infections in the United States reached a new high on Wednesday, and deaths from the viral disease crossed quarter of a million.

With 1,70,003 new cases reporting in the last 24 hours, the country's total number of COVID-19 infections increased to 11529807, as per latest data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

This is for the first time that COVID cases are crossing the 170000 threshold a day since the pandemic began.

Wednesday was also one of the worst days in COVID casualties. 1,850 deaths in the same period took the total casualties to 250537. This is more than the number of people killed by strokes, suicides and car crashes in the U.S. in a year, CNN reported based on a comparative study.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster focus zones in the state. The existing yellow zones in Broome and Orange Counties will be removed, and Brooklyn's orange zone will transition to a yellow zone. Part of Erie County's yellow zone will transition to an orange warning zone, and part of Niagara County adjacent to Erie will become a yellow zone. Changes to zones go into effect Friday for business restrictions and Monday for school closures.

Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said hospitals in the state are struggling with the influx of COVID-positive patients.

Regional Coalition of Northeast Governors announced they will encourage residential colleges and universities in their respective states to provide testing for all students travelling home for Thanksgiving break to the maximum extent possible before they leave campus. The Governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts called on colleges and universities to conduct classes online between Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

The United States' top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci told BBC that the country was "going in the wrong direction at a very precarious time." The warning comes with people more likely to gather inside with the winter, Thanksgiving and the broader holiday season fast approaching.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said the German company and its partner Pfizer will seek permission from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday for the emergency use of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Russia surpassed 2 million Covid-19 cases on Thursday.

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