South Africa’s coronavirus cases surpass half a million – latest updates

The coronavirus, which caused a global pandemic, has now infected over 18 million people and has killed more than 688,000. Here are the latest updates for August 2:

South Africa‘s cases surpass half a million

South Africa’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 have crossed half a million, its health ministry said, while cases in Africa as a whole approached a million.

Africa’s most industrialised nation recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.

Just over 3 million people have so far been tested for the virus in South Africa, which confirmed its first case five months ago, and 8,153 deaths have been recorded.

Australia’s Victoria declares disaster, sets curfew

Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria declared a state of disaster and imposed a nightly curfew for the capital Melbourne as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain a resurgent Covid-19.

Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order, has struggled to rein in the disease, with record numbers of infections of the new coronavirus reported last week.

Victoria reported 671 infections, one of its highest, and seven Covid-19 deaths.

High numbers of community transmissions and cases of unknown origins have forced the new restrictions, which will be in place for six weeks, officials said.

Latin America death toll surges past 200,000

The death toll in Latin America from the novel coronavirus passed 200,000, a Reuters tally showed, underlining the region’s status as one of the global epicenters of the pandemic that is testing governments to the limit.

Apart from the United States, Brazil and Mexico have racked up more fatalities from the virus than any other country, and together they account for around 70 percent of the regional death toll.

Both have struggled to balance the need to curb the spread of the virus with restrictive safety measures while trying to reopen their economies, which have been battered by the crisis.

Brazil reported a daily record of 1,595 coronavirus deaths earlier in the week and registered another 1,088 on Saturday. Mexico recorded 784 fatalities on Saturday and for the first time logged more than 9,000 new infections from the virus.

China sends team to Hong Kong for widespread testing

Seven Chinese health officials were due to arrive in Hong Kong, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread testing for Covid-19 in the territory as the global financial hub races to halt a third wave of illness.

The initiative is the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the coronavirus.

Some local residents fear China may use this as an excuse to collect DNA samples for surveillance purposes.

Russia‘s cases surpass 850,000

Russia reported 5,427 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its nationwide tally to 850,870, the fourth largest caseload in the world.

Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 70 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll in the country of around 145 million people to 14,128.

India reports 55,000 cases

India’s coronavirus caseload crossed 1.75 million with another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours.

The new cases are down from 57,118 on Saturday. The Health Ministry also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364.

Randeep Guleria, a top government expert, said that New Delhi and Mumbai may have crossed their peak levels with declining trends.

The month of July alone has accounted for more than 1.1 million cases in India.

Philippines cases top 100,000

Coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000 after medical groups declared that the country was waging “a losing battle” against the virus and asked the president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.

The Department of Health reported a record-high daily tally of 5,032, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 103,185, including more than 2,000 deaths. The Philippines has the second-most cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

Tokyo confirms 292 new cases

Tokyo confirmed 292 new coronavirus infections, after cases rose by more than 400 in the past two days, public broadcaster NHK said.

Governor Koike Yuriko said on Friday Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the Japanese capital deteriorates further, as debate deepened over how to respond to record increases in new infections.

Indonesia reports 1,519 new infections, 43 deaths

Indonesia reported 1,519 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 111,455, data from the country’s Covid-19 task force showed.

The data also showed 43 new Covid-19 related deaths, bringing the toll to 5,236.

Mexico registers 9,556 new cases

Mexico’s health ministry reported a record 9,556 coronavirus cases and 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Vietnam reports four cases including two imported

Vietnam’s health ministry reported four virus cases, including two locally transmitted and two imported cases.

The Southeast Asian country has registered a total of 590 cases, of which 144 infections are linked to the recent outbreak in the costal city of Danang. It has also recorded three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.

Australia‘s Victoria to toughen lockdown

Australia’s Victoria state will toughen its social distancing measures in the coming days as the country’s second-most populous state struggles to contain the virus, media reported.

Victoria’s capital of Melbourne is already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order and reported record numbers of new infections last week. Authorities warned of more restrictions ahead.

Australia has fared far better than many other countries in keeping the pandemic from spreading, at a high economic cost. The country has recorded around 17,300 cases total and 200 deaths, but the recent surge in Victoria has proven difficult to contain.

Brazil logs 1,088 fatalities

Brazil recorded 45,392 additional confirmed cases as well as 1,088 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, its health ministry said.

Brazil has registered more than 2.7 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 93,563, according to ministry data.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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