Covid-19 wrap | Mexico, Brazil see record coronavirus cases, LA shuts bars
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.
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Mexico posts more than 4 000 new confirmed coronavirus cases – health ministry
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Sunday 4 050 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 267 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 216 852 cases and 26 648 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Virus death toll hits 500 000, LA shuts bars again as US struggles
More than half a million people have died in the coronavirus pandemic, an AFP tally showed on Sunday, as bars in Los Angeles were ordered to close again due to surging cases in the United States.
The worldwide number of recorded infections is now just over 10 million from the virus that first emerged in China late last year, with fears growing of a full-blown second wave.
The rate of contagion has doubled since 21 May.
One million new infections were recorded in just six days, according to the AFP count based on official sources, even as some countries loosen punishing lockdowns that have devastated their economies and thrown millions out of work.
The United States, the hardest-hit country, has more than 2.5 million cases alone, and efforts to reopen the world’s biggest economy have been set back by a jump in new infections in big states such as Florida and California.
US virus death toll at 288 in 24-hours, infections remain high: tally
The United States added 288 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed on Sunday, with the infection rate remaining high as the country struggles to control a new surge of the disease.
The world’s largest economy is the hardest-hit country by the pandemic, with 125 768 dead out of more than 2.5 million cases, according to the Baltimore-based institution at 20:30 (00:30 GMT on Monday).
Australia sees biggest daily rise in Covid-19 cases in two months
Australia’s second most populous state said on Monday it is considering re-imposing social distancing restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus infections in more than two months.
While many states and territories have yet to report their latest numbers, Victoria said it has detected 75 cases in the past 24 hours – enough to make it Australia’s biggest daily outbreak since 11 April.
The growing figures have stoked fears of a second wave in Australia after several weeks of fewer than 20 new cases a day and come as the global death toll from the virus tops half a million people.
As new coronavirus cases have mounted, Victoria has embarked on a massive testing regime and the state’s chief health officer said the state may need to re-introduce social distancing restrictions.
“Changing the law is something we have to consider because we have to do whatever is required to turn this around,” Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, referring to questions about enforcing localised lockdowns.
Victorian state officials last week deployed ambulances and mobile test centres in a bid to test most residents in 10 hotspot suburbs.
Brazil has record week for virus cases
Brazil had its worst week yet of the coronavirus pandemic in terms of new cases, registering 259 105 infections in the seven days through Sunday, according to health ministry figures.
The country also reported its second-highest weekly death toll, with 7 005 people killed, just below the record of 7 285 set the previous week.
Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of infections and deaths worldwide after the US, has struggled to set a strategy for dealing with the pandemic.
The latest grim figures came as protesters in various cities across the country and as far away as Stockholm, London and Barcelona held demonstrations against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his handling of the health crisis.
The far-right president has downplayed the new coronavirus as akin to a “little flu”, railed against state authorities’ stay-at-home measures and publicly flouted social distancing guidelines and the face-mask requirement in place in the capital, Brasilia.
At Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, military police clutching riot shields used batons to push back people protesting under the slogan “Stop Bolsonaro”, as well as for Gay Pride day and against racism.
The harsh police reaction against the crowd of around 200 drew more people to protest from their windows, shouting: “Get out, Bolsonaro!”
In Brasilia, protesters put up 1 000 crosses on a lawn in front of Congress to pay tribute to Covid-19 victims, with a banner reading “Bolsonaro, stop denying!”
“Brazil is suffering immense pain, a hidden pain that throbs in the face of the incredible numbers of deaths caused by Covid-19,” the organisers said in a statement.
Beijing reports 7 new Covid-19 cases vs 14 a day earlier
Beijing’s city government reported seven new Covid-19 cases for 28 June, down from 14 a day earlier as the Chinese capital seeks to contain an outbreak.
The city also reported one new asymptomatic case, a patient who has the coronavirus but is not exhibiting symptoms, compared with three such cases a day earlier.
Qatar to further ease coronavirus curbs as infections pass peak
Qatar aims to further ease coronavirus curbs from 1 July, allowing the limited reopening of restaurants, beaches and parks, as infections have passed their peak and the rate was subsiding, authorities said.
The nation of about 2.8 million people has the second highest tally of infections among the six Gulf Arab states, after much larger neighbour Saudi Arabia.
It announced 750 new cases on Sunday, taking its total to 94 413, with 110 deaths.
In a statement late on Sunday, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management said restaurants would reopen at limited capacity from 1 July, as would public beaches and parks.
Public and private gatherings of a maximum of five people will be allowed, while employees in the public and private sector can work from office at 50% capacity, it added.
Qatar, like other Gulf states, has seen the disease spread among low-income migrant workers living in crowded quarters, but had not imposed curfew. This month, it allowed outbound flights and the re-opening of some mosques.
In a third phase of relaxation, scheduled from 1 August, it will permit flights from low-risk countries to resume, and re-open shopping malls and markets.
Thailand reports 7 new coronavirus cases, all imported, no new deaths
Thailand on Monday reported seven new coronavirus cases, all of which were imported, marking 35 days without community transmission.
The seven cases were Thais returning from India and the US who had tested positive while in state quarantine, said Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry’s permanent secretary.
The coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand, among 3 169 infections, of which 3 053 patients have recovered.