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The United States hit a new record for coronavirus cases Friday, notching nearly 290,000 in a span of 24 hours, according to a real-time tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country, the hardest-hit in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, also recorded 3,676 virus deaths in the same day, the Baltimore-based university said.

The day before, the US had recorded a record of nearly 4,000 deaths in 24 hours.

Some 131,000 people are currently hospitalized in the US for COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The world’s largest economy has recorded 21.8 million cases

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France is to extend its COVID-19 curfew to a further eight departments, Prime Minister Jean Castex said Saturday, citing a “tough and necessary” response as some opposed the restrictions in several cities.

France has been ramping up its anti-virus restrictions in the face of rising cases and imposed a post-New Year curfew from 6 pm (1700 GMT) on 15 of its 101 departments, the remainder subject to an 8 pm confinement.

Those 15 are deemed to be where the virus is spreading the most in a country which has seen some 67,000 deaths to date from

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Britain on Friday reported a record 1,325 deaths over a 24 period from people testing positive for coronavirus, as a surge in cases piled pressure on overstretched health services, forcing London to declare a major incident.

The eclipsed the previous worst of 1,224 recorded on April 21 during the height of the first wave last year, and brings the total number of deaths to 79,833.

The grim milestone also saw another high of 68,053 new cases registered in the past day, nudging the overall number of COVID infections close to three million.

The government