US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations amid surge; In Iran, a massive cemetery struggles to keep up with virus

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AP News) – The U.S. has hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November.

These latest  grim milestones come amid a relentless nationwide surge of infections that shows no signs of slowing. The new virulent wave appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer — and threatens to be worse. Deaths are climbing again, reaching an average of more than 930 a day.

However, experts say medical and testing advances give them reason to believe the nation is better able to deal with the virus this time, Mike Stobbe reports.

Texas has become the first state to surpass 1 million infections. According to the Johns Hopkins website, the state recorded 1,010,364 cases early today with 19,337 deaths since the pandemic began in early March.

Iran Cemetery Crisis: The Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery on the outskirts of the capital, Tehran, is struggling to keep up with the pandemic ravaging the country. The site’s manager calls it the greatest crisis the vast necropolis has seen in its 50-year history — and it’s not clear when it will end. Double the usual number of bodies are arriving each day, and grave diggers have excavated thousands of new plots. With 1.6 million people buried on its grounds, which stretch across more than five square kilometers (around two square miles), Behesht-e-Zahra is one of the world’s largest cemeteries. But Mohammad Nasiri reports that it wasn’t big enough for the coronavirus, which roared into Iran early this year, seeding the region’s worst known outbreak. More than 39,000 have died from the virus in Iran. 

Iran has imposed a nightly curfew on businesses in Tehran and several other cities and towns. Restaurants and nonessential businesses in Tehran and 30 other cities were ordered to close at 6 p.m. for one month, to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Iran set single-day death records 10 times over the past month, a sign of how quickly the virus is spreading.

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