Worldwide COVID-19 death toll reaches half a million, second wave begins

It's the milestone the world never wanted to reach, the death doll from COVID-19 is now topping half a million.

While some regions are still grappling with the first wave of cases, others are now dealing with a resurgence.

Melbourne is the latest area to be hit with a large number of new cases.

Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton predicts Melbourne's case numbers will increase before they decline.

"I think it'll get worse before it gets better. It is a concerning number," Sutton said.

The feared second wave is now a reality in Melbourne. Just one of today's 75 new cases was in hotel quarantine, the rest are spread across the city, with 'hotspots' in southwest and northeast suburbs.

Australian Health Minister Jenny Miakos says the virus is not exclusive to suburbs that have been identified as 'hotspots.'

"It is important to reiterate to the community that you're not immune from catching coronavirus by the post code that you live in," Miakos said.

In the US a devastating wave of infection is also spreading. Texas, Florida and Arizona are fast emerging as the new virus epicentres.

Eighty-five hundred new cases were reported in Florida today, with crowded beaches doing nothing to contain the spread. 

Texas is also being hit hard. Cases have soared in Houston, leaving icu's close to capacity, and ambulance services under pressure.

Chief of the Houston Fire Department Sam Pena says the pressure they are under means call outs are taking longer, "What was taking 20,30, 35 minutes now has doubled."

In Dallas US Vice President Mike Pence practiced safety first, unlike his boss, by wearing a face mask at a church. 

He supported the wearing of face masks saying: "We encourage everyone to wear a mask."  

In London there are concerns of a second wave with social distancing being a low priority for city dwellers. Police have busted two illegal parties in the UK's capital.

It is summer in the UK and as the mercury continues to rise so too does the risk of coronavirus. Tens of thousands of people have been filling onto beaches in an effort to cool off.

 

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