World Economy

These are the countries seeing a surge in coronavirus cases

Key Points
  • As lockdown measures around the world have been gradually lifted, some countries are seeing spikes in new coronavirus infections.
  • The number of cases in the U.S. hit a new record high on Wednesday, with 45,557 diagnoses reported.
  • Germany has struggled in recent weeks, with a handful of significant outbreaks at meat-processing plants.
Commuters wearing protective masks wait for a train at the Luz station in Sao Paulo. As the country shatters records and the contamination curve fails to flatten, President Jair Bolsonaro remains adamant about his crusade to reopen commerce and the economy.
Pacific Press

Lockdowns imposed across the world in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic differed from country to country, ranging from partial to full restrictions on public life. But as those measures have been gradually lifted, some countries are seeing spikes in new coronavirus infections.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world now stands at over 9.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and over 480,000 people have died.

The recent spikes in cases have led to growing fears of a "second wave" of the pandemic, as countries that seemingly passed the peak of infections some months ago experience new outbreaks. Here are some of the countries seeing a spike in infections:

The U.S.

The coronavirus continues to surge in certain U.S. states — particularly those in the south and west of the country.

The number of cases in the country hit a new record high on Wednesday, with 45,557 diagnoses reported, according to a tally by NBC News.

Texas, Utah, Arkansas and Arizona are among the states seeing a rise in coronavirus hospitalizations, while California and Florida reported their biggest daily spikes in new coronavirus cases Wednesday, while Houston said its intensive-care unit beds are near capacity.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — states that were once the epicenter of the epidemic in the U.S.— have ordered visitors from certain hotspot states, like Florida, to quarantine for 14 days

To date, more than 2.38 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the U.S. while at least 121,979 deaths have been reported, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.


Germany was seen as the poster-child for its approach to combating the coronanvirus epidemic in the country. Praised for implementing early widespread testing and contact tracing of anyone infected with the virus, it has managed so far to keep hospitalizations and the death toll low. 

However, it has struggled in recent weeks, with a handful of significant outbreaks at meat-processing plants.

The largest has been the latest outbreak at a plant in the district of Gütersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over 1,500 workers at the Tönnies meat-processing plant (the largest in Germany) have been confirmed to have the virus, out of around 7,000 total employees. The meat-processing industry has been widely criticized Germany for its poor working and living conditions.

Another outbreak was reported at a smaller meat-processing plant in Lower Saxony on Wednesday.

Soldiers of the Bundeswehr dressed in full PPE prepare to take throat swab samples from local residents in the village of St. Vit following a Covid-19 outbreak at the nearby Toennies meat packaging plant during the coronavirus pandemic on June 23, 2020 near Guetersloh, Germany.
Sean Gallup

The outbreak in Gutersloh led to the district being put back into lockdown on Tuesday, and a neighboring district was also shut down hours later, in order to contain any possible spread. Nonetheless, the outbreak (as well as other "major outbreaks" in nursing and retirement homes, asylum and refugee centers, some schools and an outbreak in a religious community) has been blamed for pushing up Germany's virus reproduction or 'R' rate up to 2.88 last weekend, its public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, said Wednesday.

Germany currently has 192,871 confirmed coronavirus cases and has reported 8,933 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.


The number of infections surged last weekend in Brazil, a country that now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with over 1.18 million confirmed and almost 54,000 fatalities.

Brazil's government under President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of trying to cover up the country's coronavirus statistics and there was uproar earlier in June when Brazil's health ministry stopped publishing daily infection and death data. It resumed publications after a Supreme Court ruling.

With nearly 55,000 new infections reported last Sunday, Brazil saw its largest rise in daily infections — although this was in part due to a lag in reporting from the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, thus compounding data from two days, the World Health Organization noted.

On Wednesday, the daily number of new cases had declined but was still significant, with 42,725 new infections in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, and 1,185 deaths. 

Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro protest outside the army headquarters, against the decision of Brasilia's Governor Ibaneis Rocha to prevent crowds from attending rallies, amid the new coronavirus pandemic, in Brasilia, on June 14, 2020.


India reported a record single-day spike in cases earlier Thursday, with 16,922 new cases of the virus. This was higher than the previous day's record of 15,968 new cases. The virus has infected 473,105 people in India and killed at least 14,894, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  


Maharashtra, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu are the hardest-hit states, the data from India's Health Ministry shows, accounting for around 60% of all confirmed cases in India. The increase in cases in New Delhi, reportedly due to limited hospital and contact tracing capacity, is of particular concern.

India has the fourth-worst coronavirus epidemic in the world, based on total number of confirmed cases, after the U.S., Brazil and Russia.