<p>The global count of confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rose to 56.3 million on Thursday and deaths increased to 1.35 million, according to data provided by the Johns Hopkins University. The United States leads the world in cases with 11.53 million and deaths with 250,548. On Wednesday, the United States recorded 172,391 new cases and at least 1,923 deaths, according to New York Times data. That raised the daily average for the past week to 162,816, 77% more than two weeks ago. Hospitalizations rose to another record of 79,410, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The increase in cases has prompted a growing number of states and cities to implement new restrictions. The potential vaccine against AstraZeneca PLC AZN, + 2.35% said their candidate vaccine showed an “encouraging” immune response in older adults.