Coronavirus latest: Brazil death toll nears 60,000

  • Brazilian coronavirus deaths are likely to top 60,000 on Wednesday
  • Leading US expert warns cases could reach ‘100,000 a day’
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scolds ‘careless’ citizens

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

03:53 South Korea is considering including religious facilities on a list of “high-risk” venues for the spread of COVID-19. It comes after a slew of transmissions tied to church gatherings. South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a virus meeting on Wednesday that more than 40% of the country’s newly confirmed infections over the previous three days have been traced back to places of worship.

He requested people to stay away from religious gatherings and criticized churches and other facilities for failing to implement proper preventive measures, such as requiring followers to wear masks and sit apart during services.

03:37 Coronavirus infections in Germany increased by 466 in the past 24 hours to 194,725, according to figures shared by the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. The death toll rose by 12, bringing national fatalities to 8,985, the institute said. 

02:26 The US recorded 1,199 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the first time the national daily death toll has exceeded 1,000 since June 10, a Johns Hopkins University tally has shown. In total, over 127,322 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the US. The US also registered 42,528 new infections in the past day.

The growing number of fatalities has caused several states to halt the process of relaxing coronavirus restriction measures. “Clearly we are not in total control right now,” infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, a key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said on Tuesday.

Fauci said that new cases could more than double to 100,000 per day if authorities and the public don’t take steps to curb the outbreak. He called on Americans to cover their faces in public and to avoid crowds.

01:01 The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is making another attempt at a coronavirus ceasefire agreement in response to a drawn-out dispute between the US and China regarding the World Health Organization (WHO). France and China submitted a revised draft of the resolution on Tuesday. Results are expected Wednesday.

The resolution supports UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ March 23 call for global ceasefires in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. It asks for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in all conflicts on its agenda. This includes fighting in Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo. The resolution calls for at least 90 consecutive days of peace in order to provide safe delivery of humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. 

Last Thursday, Guterres announced that nearly 180 countries and over 20 armed groups had endorsed his appeal. “The difficulty is to implement it,” he said. Multiple attempts to pass the resolution have been blocked over a reference to the WHO. The US suspended funding to WHO in April after President Donald Trump accused the health agency of failing to stop the virus from spreading after it first appeared in China. 

China, meanwhile, strongly supports the organization and insisted that its role in calling for global action against the virus be included in the resolution. The US, for its part, demanded a call for “transparency” and no reference to the WHO. The new draft does not mention either the WHO, a UN health agency, or transparency.

00:52 Mexico has reported 5,432 new coronavirus infections and 648 more fatalities in the past 24 hours. This brings total cases in the country to 226,089 and total deaths to 27,769, the Health Ministry said. The government has indicated that the real number of infections is likely significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases.

00:38 China has reported three new cases of coronavirus in the mainland, compared to 19 the day before. All three cases were in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The mainland also reported three new asymptomatic cases, meaning the patients had tested positive for the virus but displayed no symptoms, down from four the day before. Mainland China had a total of 83,534 confirmed coronavirus infections as of June 30, the health commission said.   

00:05 Brazil is closing in on 60,000 deaths from the new coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the country’s Health Ministry. With 1,280 new deaths from COVID-19 registered in the past 24 hours, 59,594 people in Brazil have so far died from the infection. Confirmed infections rose by 33,846 to 1,402,041. Brazil is suffering the second worst outbreak worldwide, behind only the US in terms of total deaths and infections.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree that will extend emergency stipends to informal workers affected by the coronavirus crisis, as unemployment continues to grow. The monthly stipend of 600 reais ($110, €98) had been set to expire this month. But it has proved a lifeline for struggling Brazilians and has boosted the far-right president’s popularity among poorer voters.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes cautioned, however, that the emergency spending cannot go on indefinitely and that the national debt may soon exceed gross domestic product (GDP). Tuesday figures showed that public debt in Brazil has risen to 81.9% of GDP.

Furthermore, Brazil’s military on Tuesday delivered protective supplies and medicines by helicopter to indigenous communities of the Amazon bordering Venezuela. The military also conducted rapid finger-prick tests on the Yanomami and Yekuana tribes. The army airlifted supplies like face masks, alcohol, gloves, tests and 13,500 pills of chloroquine, a controversial anti-malaria drug that President Bolsonaro is championing to combat the coronavirus.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday’s coronavirus news here.

In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real-time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments, and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.

Germany’s national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.

kp/sri (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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