Pandemic continues to ravage world

Source: AFP Published: 2020/8/9 15:18:41

With figures nearing over 700,000 deaths no end is in sight to stop virus

A projection on a building honors the 100,000 victims who died due to COVID-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. Photo: AFP

Brazil became the second country to pass the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths Saturday as US President Donald Trump signed executive actions extending economic help in the world's worst-hit nation.

The US leader's orders followed failure by his Republican party and opposition Democrats to agree on a new stimulus package despite the country's double digit unemployment, business downturn and stubbornly high coronavirus infection rates.

Meanwhile just a day after Latin America and the Caribbean became the hardest-hit region in the global pandemic, Brazil reported a total of 100,477 fatalities, joining the US as the only two countries to surpass the six-digit death mark.

Tolls continue to rise across the world, with global fatalities having now soared past 722,000. More than 162,000 of those were in the US, which was on the verge of recording 5 million cases. 

India has more than 2 million infections - its case load having doubled in three weeks - and has recorded 42,518 deaths.

And more than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus in South Africa, the health ministry said Saturday, as soccer resumed following a 145-day coronavirus-induced shutdown.

Growing infections in and around Paris have prompted officials to make face masks compulsory outdoors in crowded areas and tourist hot spots in the city and surrounding areas from Monday.

The mask will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over "in certain very crowded zones," said a police statement, including the banks of the Seine River and more than 100 streets in the French capital.

As temperatures soared across western Europe, holiday makers crowded beaches despite warnings about the risk of infection.

On Saturday, a day after Britain recorded its hottest August day in 17 years at 36.4 C, much of its southern coastline was packed with tourists.

Local authorities in Germany warned that some beaches and lakes would be closed if there were too many people.

Belgian police meanwhile arrested several people Saturday at the resort of Blankenberge after a brawl broke out on a beach between officers and youths they had told to leave for refusing to respect virus safety measures. 

Some workplaces remain hot spots of infection. Meat giant Danish Crown announced Saturday it had shut down a major slaughterhouse in Denmark after nearly 150 employees came down with the virus.

India now has the world's third-highest pandemic case load after the US and Brazil.



blog comments powered by Disqus