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US, India, China see virus cases soar

A World Health Organisation-led coalition fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is asking government and private sector donors to help raise $US31.3 billion ($A45.7 billion) in the next 12 months to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines for the disease.

Renewing its call on Friday for global collaboration against the pandemic, it said $US3.4 billion had been contributed for the coalition to date, leaving a funding gap of $US27.9 billion.

Of that, $US13.7 billion was "urgently needed".

It comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the United States surged to an all-time high of 40,000 on Friday.

Reversing course, two of America's largest states have reinstated some coronavirus restrictions in the US' biggest retreat yet, as the daily number of confirmed infections in the US surged to an all-time high of 45,300.

India reported more than 18,000 new cases on Saturday, pushing its cumulative total over the half-million mark, the fourth highest globally behind the US, Brazil and Russia.

Elsewhere, Egypt and Britain said they would ease virus controls, while China and South Korea battled smaller outbreaks in their capitals.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered all bars closed, and Florida banned alcohol at such establishments. They joined a small but growing number of states that are either backtracking or putting any further reopening of their economies on hold because of a comeback by the virus, mostly in the country's South and West.

Health experts have said a disturbingly large number of cases are being seen among young people who are going out again, often without wearing masks or observing other social-distancing rules.

"It is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said.

The Republican governor, who had pursued one of the most aggressive reopening schedules of any state, also scaled back restaurant capacity and said outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people would need approval from local officials.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez in Florida's Miami-Dade County announced Friday night that he would close beaches over the Fourth of July weekend. He said cracking down on recreational activities is prudent given the growing number of infections among young adults.

The Indian city of Gauhati, the capital of Assam state, will be locked down for two weeks starting on Monday, with night curfews and weekend lockdowns in the rest of the state. India added 18,552 cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to 508,953. The death toll reached 15,685.

China saw an uptick in cases, one day after authorities said they expect an outbreak in Beijing to be brought under control in the near future. The National Health Commission reported 17 new cases in the nation's capital, the most in a week, among 21 nationwide.

South Korea, where a resurgence in the past month threatens to erase the country's earlier success, reported 51 new cases, including 35 in the Seoul metropolitan area. Officials, worried about the fragile economy, have resisted calls to reimpose restrictions eased in April.

Cairo's cafes welcomed back in-house customers on Saturday as Egypt reopened cafes, clubs, gyms and theatres after more than three months of closures. Wearing face masks, the faithful poured into mosques for dawn prayers, though mosques and churches are not yet allowed to hold their main weekly services.

Britain was expected to scrap a 14-day quarantine requirement for people returning from abroad in a bid to make summer vacation travel possible. Only travellers from "red" zones, places with a high level of COVID-19, will be told to self-isolate. A full list of countries, due to be published next week, is likely to give Spain, Greece and France a green light.

© RAW 2020