A cheap steroid that can help save the lives of patients with severe COVID-19 should be reserved for serious cases in which it has been shown to provide benefits, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The first wave of COVID-19 came slowly to San Joaquin County in the heart of California’s breadbasket, but the much-feared second surge is roaring through, sickening as many people in the two weeks since Memorial Day as in March and April combined.

The number of people who died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 28 to 29,575 on Wednesday, a figure more in line with the current trend after a spike in deaths on Tuesday due to the inclusion of weekly data for nursing homes.

(The June 17 story corrects to show 79% of hospitalized patients were black, not 79% of black patients were hospitalized, in second paragraph)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday reported 2,132,321 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 27,975 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 722 to 116,862.

An intense season of fires in the Amazon rainforest this year could overwhelm health systems and lead to unnecessary deaths, including of coronavirus, as pollution worsens respiratory conditions, public health experts said on Wednesday.

New coronavirus cases in Oklahoma increased by a record amount just days ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, the biggest event in the country since pandemic restrictions were imposed in March.

An inexpensive steroid that can help save the lives of patients with severe COVID-19 should be reserved for serious cases in which it has been shown to provide benefits, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

Israel has signed an agreement with Moderna Inc for the future purchase of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

Ever since the novel coronavirus reached Cuba, a tall cardboard box with arms and legs can be seen tottering around a Havana suburb, popping into the bakery or butchers, or browsing the newspaper stand.