Optimism over reopening economies from business shutdowns to fight the virus spurred a rally on Wall Street, even as the official U.S. death toll approached 100,000, The Associated Press reported.
Outbreaks are still climbing in much of the Americas, while many countries in Asia and much of Europe are making steady progress in containing the deadliest pandemic in a century.
Cyprus announced Wednesday that it was preparing to welcome tourists back on June 9 and would cover all costs — lodging, food, drink and medication — for anyone testing positive for the coronavirus, and their family members, while on vacation in the east Mediterranean island nation.
The pledge came in a five-page letter that was sent out to governments, airlines and tour operators outlining strict health and hygiene protocols, including a requirement for COVID-19 testing three days before departure, as the tourism-reliant country seeks to woo vacationers. Cyprus has confirmed about 940 cases of the virus and fewer than 20 deaths.
In New Zealand, which is still banning foreign arrivals, the Ministry of Health said there were no COVID-19 patients under treatment in the country’s hospitals. The nation took aggressive and early action to stop transmissions and has reported only 21 deaths. It has 21 active cases out of 1,504 confirmed and probable ones.
In South Korea, 40 newly confirmed cases — the biggest daily jump in nearly 50 days — raised alarm as millions of children were returning to school.
All but four of the new cases were in the densely populated Seoul region, where officials are scrambling to stop transmissions linked to nightclubs, karaoke rooms and an e-commerce warehouse. South Korea has reported 269 deaths and 11,265 cases, after managing to contain a severe earlier outbreak.
Authorities were testing 3,600 employees of a local e-commerce giant, Coupang, after discovering dozens of coronavirus infections linked to workers at the company’s warehouse near Seoul.
India saw another record single-day jump, reporting 6,387 new cases on Wednesday, as the government prepared new guidelines for the next phase of a 2-month-old national lockdown that is due to end on Sunday.
In the Americas, from Mexico to Chile, health officials were reporting surging coronavirus cases and overwhelmed hospitals.
Mexico’s health department reported 501 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, a new one-day high, and 3,455 more infections. Its daily death toll is approaching that of the U.S., at about 620. Brazil currently leads in daily deaths with more than 800.
Authorities in Chile said their intensive care units were near full capacity, with about 4,000 new cases being confirmed daily. “This is an extraordinarily difficult time,” Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said.
A U.S. travel ban took effect Tuesday for foreigners coming from Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro has raged against state and local leaders enforcing stay-at-home measures despite warnings that the outbreak is deepening.