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Global coronavirus caseload at 4.8 million and counting

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 7:50 AM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:37 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Gravediggers carry the coffin of a person who passed away from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during his funeral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 18, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Latest figures show that the new coronavirus has now infected 4,805,430 people and killed 318,554 others, almost five months since it emerged in China and quickly spread to the entire world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

While some countries across Europe and Asia have already passed the peak of their outbreaks, Latin America has just begun to see a rise in the epidemic, with the fatalities surpassing 30,000 in the region.

Here are the latest on the pandemic from around the world:

Brazil ‘has 2 weeks before healthcare system collapses’

Brazil, now among the world’s worst-hit countries, has registered a total number of 254,220 cases and 16,853 deaths as of Monday.

The country’s largest city, Sao Paulo, is the worst hit, with 63,066 cases and 4,823 deaths. Mayor Bruno Covas has warned residents to follow social distancing guidelines or the health system could be overwhelmed very soon. He said nine in 10 intensive care beds were taken in the city’s hospitals.

Covas also urged far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to lock down the country, saying they have “about two weeks before hospital system collapses.”

Rio de Janeiro is second on the list, with 26,665 known cases and 2,852 deaths, according to data from the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Health experts have warned that the South American country is on track to become the world’s epicenter of coronavirus, as Bolsonaro goes on with harsh opposition to lockdown measures.

Mexico reopens economy under US pressure

Mexico is pushing to reopen the economy under pressure from the United States, even though the number of known cases has reached 51,633.

Washington has been calling on Mexico to reopen the factories that had been in the supply chain of US-based businesses, especially in the automotive sector.

The Mexican government, however, has come under fire for endangering citizens’ lives by sending them to unsafe work sites.

Mexico has a death toll of over 5,300.

Ecuador struggles to identify the dead

Authorities in Ecuador are reportedly struggling to identify the dead, as scores of bodies are piled up in the port city of Guayaquil, which has had the worst outbreak in the country.

They are still trying to identify some 90 bodies collected from homes in the port city.

The city used to report 45 daily deaths on average, but the number jumped to 600 during the peak of the epidemic in early April, said the president’s emergency envoy to the city, Jorge Wated.

The total number of cases in Ecuador is 33,182, with 2,736 deaths.

Firefighters carry the casket of their chief, who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and whose wife died of the same reason a few days earlier, during his funeral, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 24, 2020. (Reuters)

German virus cases accelerating again

Germany has registered 513 new cases, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday, bringing the country’s overall tally to 175,210.

The reported fatalities also rose by 72 to 8,007, according to the institute.

France reports 70 new cases linked to schools

French health authorities reported a rise of about 70 cases of the viral infection related to schools, just one week after children returned to schools in the country.

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer warned on Monday that the return had put some children at new risk of infection.

France has reported a total of 179,693 cases and 28,111 deaths.

France, Germany offer virus relief fund to EU

Meanwhile, France and Germany proposed the creation of a fund of 500 billion euros to support the stricken economy of the European Union (EU).

The money from the recovery fund would be dispersed in the form of grants rather than loans, and repayments would be made from the EU budget over a roughly 20-year period.

The plan was unveiled by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron during a joint video conference on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French President Emmanuel Macron during a joint video conference in the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on May 18, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

India’s caseload crosses 100,000

India’s cases of coronavirus surged past 100,000 on Tuesday, according to the Health Ministry data. Total cases now number at 101,139, and deaths at 3,163.

The number of new cases has been on the rise by an average of over 4,000 each day over the past week.

The country extended its lockdown on Sunday until the end of this month.

Some states, however, said they would allow their businesses to reopen.

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