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US Officially Passes 5 Million Coronavirus Cases

By VOA News August 09, 2020

The United States surpassed five million coronavirus cases on Sunday, the most in the world.

The figures were released Sunday by Johns Hopkins University, which said the U.S. death toll is above 162,000.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released a model predicting nearly 300,000 deaths by December 1 if Americans don't start consistently wearing face masks.

IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a statement that if 95% of Americans started wearing masks, more than 66,000 lives would be saved.

Meanwhile, Brazil has become the second country in the world to pass 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, second to the United States.

Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, said last week he had "a clear conscience" despite the toll. Bolsonaro himself survived COVID-19 last month and said he had done "everything possible to save lives." Because of insufficient tests, experts say, the number of Brazilians with the virus could be six times higher.

Mexico's Health Ministry reported nearly 6,500 new COVID infections Saturday and almost 700 deaths. Mexico follows only the U.S. and Brazil in the numbers of COVID deaths. Mexico has more than 46,000 COVID deaths, according to John Hopkins University data.

In France, the government ordered face masks must be worn outside in busy areas – except around some tourist sites, including the Eiffel Tower. The government said the French tourism industry has lost at least $35-$47 billion due to the health crisis.

"The French are participating massively in the revival of the tourism sector by favoring France," and 70% of those who have gone on vacation have chosen to stay in their country, Secretary of State for Tourism Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche.

New mask mandates went into effect Saturday in Britain where people are now required to wear masks in most indoor settings. In England and Scotland, masks must be worn in places of worship, banks, libraries and in many other indoor places.

Masks were already required in shops and on public transit, but more stringent measures were imposed to contain a surge in coronavirus infections in Britain after easing lockdown requirements.

Travelers arriving in Germany from most non-European countries and regions within the European Union with high infection rates must now undergo testing for the coronavirus Travelers from high-risk areas were previously required to self-quarantine for 14 days or until they could produce a negative test.

Australia recorded 404 new cases Sunday – 10 in New South Wales and 394 in Victoria. Seventeen deaths were reported in Victoria.

New Zealand reports it has experienced 100 days of zero community transmission of the coronavirus.

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