Latin America’s toll tops 1 lakh; Cases in Beijing on a decline

Latin America
By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 24, 2020 3:26:01 pm

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The Latin America region reported more than 1 lakh infections amid alarming spike in cases shows no signs of abating. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

More than 6 months into the coronavirus pandemic, over 9.26 million people have been infected globally and 475,880​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. With most countries reopening their economies, small virus clusters in several places have again started to feed fears of a “second wave”.

The Latin American region reported more than 1 lakh infections amid an alarming spike in cases, while infections have begun receding in Europe and some parts of Asia. In United States, several federal health officials have warned states to brace for a second wave of infections this fall and in winter this year.

Meanwhile, UN secretary General Antonio Guterres has criticised the “total lack of coordination among countries in the response to the COVID” and warned that the go-it-alone police of many countries is not helping in defeating the pandemic.

Here are the major global developments 

Singapore reports 191 new Covid-19 cases, tally reaches 42,623

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Prime Minister Lee on Tuesday said he is satisfied that voters can vote safely, and that political parties will be able to campaign effectively as Singapore manages the control of the coronavirus spread. (AP/File)

Singapore on Wednesday reported 191 new coronavirus infections, including seven community cases, taking the tally to 42,623, the health ministry said. Of the seven community, two are Singapore citizens or permanent residents (foreigners) and five are foreigners on work passes.

Most of the new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories, the ministry said. Meanwhile, contingency plans have been made to mitigate the spread of the virus during the general elections to be held on July 10, the Channel News Asia reported.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday announced snap general elections to allow a fresh five-year mandate to a new government to take important decisions to revive the city-state’s economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Halimah binte Yacob dissolved Parliament on the prime minister’s advice, setting the stage for the general election in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. The nomination day has been set for June 30.

Prime Minister Lee on Tuesday said he is satisfied that voters can vote safely, and that political parties will be able to campaign effectively as Singapore manages the control of the coronavirus spread.

Beijing increases testing capacity, new outbreak on a decline

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People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk through a shopping and office complex in Beijing, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. New virus cases have declined in China and in the capital Beijing, where a two-week spike appears to be firmly waning. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

After a two week spike, the number of new coronavirus cases in China’s capital city are on the decline again with just 12 new cases reported from the country as compared to 22 from the previous day.

Since the new cluster was discovered on 11 June, China has tested 3 million people and a total of 249 people were found to have been infected. The city now has an ability to conduct 300,000 nucleic acid tests per day compared to 40,000 in March, Zhang Hua deputy director of the Beijing Health Commission said Tuesday.

Latin America’s death toll tops 1 lakh

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Experts continue to reiterate that the true scale of damage is still unknown in Latin America due to the lack of testing.(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Latin America’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 100,000 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally. The region shows no signs of flattening the curve as it is marked by crowded cities and high poverty levels. In Brazil, the worst affected in the region, the number of infections over 2 million doubled in less than a month. Experts continue to reiterate that the true scale of damage is still unknown due to the low testing rate.

Columbia extends lockdown till 15 July

Columbia has extended its lockdown until July 15 in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, President Ivan Duque said in a night broadcast on Tuesday. “The current conditions of obligatory isolation, where we are returning to productivity and moving towards the re-opening of businesses, will continue as they are today until July 15,”Duque said.

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Worker in full protective gear amid the new coronavirus pandemic disinfect a vehicle at Corabastos, one of Latin America’s largest food distribution centers, in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

The lockdown was due to lift on July 1 after being declared in late March. The Andean country has reported more than 73,500 cases of coronavirus and 2,404 deaths.

Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 6 lakh

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Russian soldiers wearing WWII-era uniforms wear face masks to protect against coronavirus, march toward Red Square to attend a dress rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia reported 7,176 cases on Wednesday, taking the third highest tally in the world to 606,881. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 154 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 8,513.

Australia records its first covid death in a month

A man in his 80s in Victoria state became the first Covid-19 fatality in Australia in a month. The death toll now stands at 103. Victoria state recorded double digit increase in cases for the 8th consecutive day with 20 fresh cases on Wednesday. The infections in Australia top 7,500.

Gyms, swimming pools in UK could reopen later in July

As Britain reopens, UK Business Minister Alok Sharma said, Swimming pools and gyms could open in July if the country continued to meet certain health tests. .”I hope that we can allow leisure facilities to open at some point later on in July but only if we continue to meet the health tests, the five tests that we’ve put in place,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs and restaurants could reopen on July 4 but swimming pools, gyms and other leisure facilities were not given permission to do so.

Washington state makes face masks mandatory

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The US capital joins several other states that already have statewide mask orders in place including California which issued its order last week. (Source: getty images)

Washington state will require people to wear facial coverings in public settings, according to a statewide order issued by Gov Jay Inslee which will come into effect from Friday. It will become mandatory to cover the face in indoor as well as outdoor public spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing can be made.

The US capital joins several other states that already have statewide mask orders in place including California which issued its order last week

A second coronavirus wave in fall and winter, says US federal health experts

Several federal health officials have warned the United States to brace for a second wave of infections in the fall and winter this year.

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Several other federal health officials like Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health said that they continue to deal with the WHO despite Trump’s withdrawal. (AP)

Robert Redfield of the CDC said “We are going to experience significant coronavirus infection in the fall and winter.Other respiratory viruses follow a usual pattern of resurgence during the cold weather months when people are likelier to be indoors making it easier to transmit infection.”

Several other federal health officials like Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health said that they continue to deal with the WHO despite Trump’s withdrawal.

Kazakhstan locks down two towns over coronavirus

Towns near Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan have been put under lockdown on Wednesday to prevent the rise of new coronavirus cases. Some towns have been blocked by checkpoints and a 10 pm to 6 am curfew has been imposed. The authorities have also closed all entertainment venues, mass public gatherings throughout the province and restricted access to hospitals and institutions such as orphanages and retirement homes.

Worst of COVID-19 is yet to come in South Africa, says top scientist

As infections in South Africa crossed the 1 lakh-mark with death toll nearing 2,000, epidemiologist and the head COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee, Salim Abdool Karim has warned that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come in the country.

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The reflection of a woman wearing a face mask is caught in the window of a shop in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

The infections and deaths have doubled in the past fortnight after lockdown regulations introduced three months ago were further eased to allow more businesses to open to save the faltering economy address rising unemployment.

Tokyo expects a surge in new coronavirus cases, says governor

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People walk across a pedestrian crossing Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike Wednesday said that the state is to record “quite a large number” of new coronavirus cases after a cluster of infections emerged from an office. “Clusters in the workplace have become a big problem lately,” he said as the testing results are still awaited. New clusters like the one from the area known for Japanese night life is adding to the new cases after the country started reopening.

Some other developments

  • Mexico had another record one day spike in confirmed coronavirus cases with 6,288 and 793 more deaths.
  • Libya reported its biggest daily increase yet in coronavirus infections and deaths, Libya’s National Center for Disease Control announced.
  • A Brazilian judge ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public after he attended political rallies without one.

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