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Homeland Security

India Surpasses 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths

By VOA News August 17, 2020

India on Monday reported its coronavirus death toll has surpassed 50,000 after it confirmed more than 900 new dead in one day.

The country is fourth in the world in COVID-19 deaths, trailing only the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

New Zealand, a country that celebrated going more than 100 days without a known community transmission of the virus, has pushed back its election scheduled for next month as it deals with a new outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the national elections will now take place October 17, and that there will be no further delay.

New Zealand health officials reported nine new cases Monday, bringing the number of confirmed active cases there to 78 while the main site of the outbreak, Auckland, remains under lockdown for another week.

In South Korea, which saw its own success in driving down new infections, health officials are working to slow an outbreak around Seoul that includes several churches as major sources of infections.

After going several months with new daily cases rarely topping 50, health officials said Monday there were 197 new confirmed cases, after nearly 300 on Sunday.

Japan, home to the world's third largest economy, is the latest to show the economic impact of the pandemic that has caused governments across the world to institute restrictions that have severely hampered economic activity.

The government released data Monday showing the country's economy shrank at an annual rate of 27.8% between April and June. The decline is the biggest since comparable data began being recorded in 1980.

In the United States, a disease expert says those who contract the virus and recover may expect to be immune from another infection for as long as one year.

Former Food and Drug Administration official Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday to talk about new findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say a three-month immunity is a certainty.

"But it's probably the case that you're going to have a period of immunity that lasts anywhere from six to 12 months. It's going to be highly variable. Some people will have less immunity, some people will have slightly more," Gottlieb said. "But it's good news that they're able to document that people have really sterile immunity. They're not going to get reinfected for at least three months and probably longer than that after infection."

But Gottlieb cautioned that COVID-19 is called the novel coronavirus for a reason – there is still much that doctors don't know about it.

The United States has recorded more than 170,000 coronavirus deaths, the most in the world. Experts at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics predict that number will hit 186,000 by September 1 and more than 390,000 by December 1.

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