World's coronavirus caseload passes 6mn, Latin America registers grim milestone
Iran Press TV
Sunday, 31 May 2020 6:34 AM
The new coronavirus has been found in the blood of more than six million people around the globe so far, according to Johns Hopkins University, and some 369,126 people have died of the disease caused by the virus (COVID-19).
Latin America reported a grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from COVID-19 and some one million confirmed cases. Experts say the true number could be much higher.
The European Union (EU) has called on US President Donald Trump to rethink a decision to terminate ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), and Pope Francis has implored world leaders to act generously to end the pandemic of poverty amid the global health crisis.
The following is the latest on the pandemic from the last 24 hours:
Brazil second only to US in caseload
Brazil reported a record 33,274 new cases of the viral infection on Saturday, according to the country's Health Ministry, which put the overall tally at 498,440.
Brazil's death toll also increased by 956 to 28,834.
According to the data, Brazil's outbreak is now second only to the United States, which stands on the top of the list of the most affected countries both in terms of cases and deaths.
The United States has reported 1,769,776 known cases of infection and 103,685 deaths.
Though cases are on the rise in Brazil, states are set to ease quarantine restrictions, as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to play down the threat from the viral outbreak and keeps calling on governors to reopen economies.
Mexico's death toll nears 10,000
Mexico, which is struggling to stem the spread of the virus, recorded 2,885 new cases and 364 more deaths on Saturday.
Those brought the total number of known cases to 87,512 and the fatality figure to 9,779.
Colombia to shut down neighborhoods in capital
Meanwhile, Colombian authorities are planning to shut down the largest neighborhoods in the capital, Bogota, as the country's caseload surpassed 28,200 and its death toll reached 890.
Bogota alone has reported more than 9,600 of the country's cases.
The government issued new restrictive measures in three of the most affected cities, including Bogota, on Saturday, while the rest of the country prepared to relax quarantine rules.
Police and the military will enforce the lockdown in the capital and Cali and Cartagena. No one will be allowed out except to seek food or medical care or in case of an emergency.
Chile overtakes China in confirmed cases
In Chile, health authorities said the country had registered 94,858 cases of COVID-19 and 997 related deaths.
The country has now surpassed China in the number of known coronavirus infections.
Peru reports record daily rise in cases
Peru reported a record 7,386 daily infections on Saturday, bringing the nationwide tally to 155,671, the Health Ministry said.
The number of deaths rose by 141, taking the total to 4,371, according to official data.
President Martin Vizcarra, however, brushed aside concerns over the rise in the COVID-19 cases, saying it was the result of larger number of tests being carried out in the country.
He said that as the number of infections increased, the number of people who recovered from the illness also rose. Some 42 percent of all confirmed cases have already recovered, he said.
Peru is the second-hardest-hit country in terms of confirmed cases in Latin America.
EU urges Trump to rethink WHO ties at a time of threat
Meanwhile, the EU's top diplomats called on the US administration "to reconsider its announced decision," to cut ties with the WHO.
"In the face of this global threat, now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on Saturday.
"Actions that weaken international results must be avoided," they said.
Trump announced on Friday that he was terminating the relationship with the UN agency, accusing the WHO of becoming a puppet of China during the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denied the allegation but promised a review of its performance after the pandemic eases.
Pope calls on world leaders to end poverty pandemic
Pope Francis implored world leaders on Saturday to provide economic aid to "end the pandemic of poverty in the world."
Speaking in a video message to mark the feast of Pentecost, the Pope called for the enormous sums of money used to make armaments to be instead used to fund research to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.
"From the great trials of humanity – among them this pandemic – one emerges better or worse. You don't emerge the same," he said.
The pontiff will also address people on Sunday from his window overlooking Saint Peter's Square for the first time since March.
Germany's cases rise by 286
The number of known cases in Germany has risen by 286 to 181,482, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
It said the deaths also rose by 11 to 8,500.
Russia reports 9,268 new cases
Russia reported 9,268 new cases of the viral infection, taking the national tally to 405,843.
Some 138 people died of the disease in the last 24 hours, pushing the overall toll up to 4,693.
China reports 2 new cases
China, which was the first-ever country to report an outbreak, has recorded a total number of 84,128 cases and 4,634 deaths.
The National Health Commission (NHC) reported two new cases for Saturday. Both cases were imported to the Chinese province of Shandong.
No additional deaths were reported.
South Korea reports 27 new cases
South Korea recorded 27 more cases on Sunday, according to health officials, who put the total caseload at 11,468.
Authorities also reported one death, taking the total toll to 270.
Singapore 518 new cases
Singapore's Health Ministry reported more 518 cases on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 34,884.
The ministry has so far reported 23 deaths from the epidemic.
Al-Aqsa Mosque reopens after 2 months
Al-Aqsa Mosque reopened to worshipers on Sunday after more than two months of closure under coronavirus restrictions in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Council of Islamic Waqf lifted entry restrictions and reopened the compound, citing the slowed local spread of the coronavirus.
The holy mosque had been shut in mid-March.
Some 700 Muslims gathered for dawn prayers early on Sunday, Reuters said.
Muslim authorities, however, imposed some measures to reduce the risk of contagion among worshipers, including making wearing face masks mandatory for those who wished to pray inside the shrines or on the compound's outdoor grounds.
Israel has so far reported 17,000 cases of COVID-19 and 284 deaths. There have been 386 cases and three deaths in the occupied West Bank.
Rwanda records 1st death
Rwanda recorded the first death from COVID-19 on Sunday. The victim, a 65-year-old, had fallen ill in a neighboring country where he resided before returning home, said the Health Ministry.
Rwanda eased a coronavirus lockdown on May 4, allowing businesses to resume with essential staff.
The East African country has reported 359 confirmed cases.
Officials have so far conducted 66,976 tests.
Authorities are moving to lift restrictions in and out of the capital of Kigali in Monday. The country's borders, however, remain closed.
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