Aug 02, 2020 11:35 UTC
  • COVID-19 death toll in Latin America tops 200k

The new coronavirus has so far infected more than 17.85 million people and claimed the lives of over 685,000 others around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll from the outbreak in Latin America has surpassed 200,000, after Peru reported another 191 deaths from the pandemic early on Sunday.

In Africa, South Africa has also registered 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus. The figure represents more than 50 percent of all reported infections across the African continent.

The Australia Victoria state, meanwhile, declared a state of disaster and imposed a nightly curfew on the capital Melbourne on Sunday.

The following is the latest on the coronavirus pandemic around the globe over the past 24 hours:

Mexico records over 9,500 cases

Mexico recorded 9,556 new cases on Saturday, bringing the nationwide tally to 434,193 cases.

It also registered 784 fatalities on Saturday, bringing the total number to 47,472 deaths.

Over 45,000 new cases reported in Brazil

Brazil’s Health Ministry recorded 45,392 additional confirmed cases and 1,088 deaths caused by the disease in the past 24 hours.

Overall, the country has so far registered more than 2.7 million cases of the virus, while the official death toll has risen to 93,563, according to ministry data.

Brazil and Mexico together account for around 70% of the regional death toll.

South Africa’s cases surpass half a million

South Africa’s Health Ministry said on Saturday that its confirmed cases of infection have surged past half a million.

This is while the total cases of COVID-19 in entire Africa is approaching a million.

South Africa recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of the disease, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.

The country has recorded 8,153 deaths since the disease was reported there five months ago.

The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown at the end of March to curb the spread of the virus, but it later eased many restrictions to boost economic activity.

“The lockdown succeeded in delaying the spread of the virus by more than two months, preventing a sudden and uncontrolled increase in infections in late March,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a separate statement.

Infections, however, have spiked over the last two months, after the lockdown restriction were relaxed.

The World Health Organization’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan warned last week that South Africa’s experience was a precursor for what was likely to happen across the continent.

Africa has recorded 934,558 cases, 19,752 deaths and 585,567 recoveries, according to a Reuters tally.

Australia declares state of disaster in Victoria

Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, has declared a state of disaster as health authorities reported 671 infections and seven related deaths on Sunday.

The local government implemented a night curfew as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain the epidemic.

The state of disaster gives Victoria police additional powers to ensure people are complying with public-health directions.

“We have no choice but to make these decisions and to push on,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised briefing. “This is the only option we have.”

“The current rules have avoided thousands and thousands of cases each day, and then thousands of people in hospital and many more tragedies than we have seen. But it is not working fast enough,” he said.

The new sweeping restrictions bar the nearly five million people in the city from leaving their houses except for work or to receive or give care.

Melbourne, the state’s capital, is already under a re-imposed six-week stay-home order.

China reports 49 new coronavirus cases

China, the first ever country to report the new coronavirus, reported 49 cases of the new coronavirus in the mainland for Saturday, up from 45 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday.

Of the new infections, 30 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, three were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, and the remaining 16 were imported cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

As of the end of Saturday, mainland China had 84,385 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The country’s death toll remained at 4,634.

China sends team to Hong Kong to do widespread testing

In a related development in the country, Beijing sent seven Chinese health officials to Hong Kong on Sunday — the first members of a 60-person team — to carry out widespread testing for COVID-19 in the semi-autonomous city.

The city’s leader Carrie Lam said on Saturday that her government asked for help from the central government due to the resurgence in cases.

She said the government was studying whether everyone in Hong Kong could be tested.

Hong Kong, which is facing a third wave of outbreak, has reported around 3,400 confirmed cases and 33 deaths since January.

Philippines to update COVID-19 strategy

The Philippines’ health department said on Sunday it will update the strategy against the coronavirus outbreak within a week.

Under the plan, the government will beef up the healthcare workforce in the capital Manila, where medical front-liners are calling for reviving strict lockdowns.

The government made the announcement after some 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses said Saturday that the Philippines was losing the fight against the disease and warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections without tighter controls.

The Philippines on Saturday reported 4,963 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total confirmed cases to 98,232, while the death toll has reached 2,039.

The Southeast Asian country has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the region, behind Indonesia.

Tokyo confirms 292 new coronavirus cases

Japan reported 292 new coronavirus infections in the capital, Tokyo, on Sunday.

Governor Koike Yuriko said on Friday Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the capital deteriorates further.

The coronavirus cases rose by more than 400 in the past two days in Tokyo, according to public broadcaster NHK.

India’s cases top 1.75 million

India’s coronavirus cases surpassed 1.75 million, with 54,735 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364.