Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus pandemic reaches 6 million cases as its grip reaches Latin America

Latin America reels as many countries in Europe ease lockdown measures even as they fear a second wave of cases

More than six million cases of coronavirus have been officially recorded worldwide, two thirds of them in Europe and the United States, according to analysts tracking the pandemic.

At 1am UAE time on Sunday, there were 6,003,762 cases.

The death toll, as recorded by John Hopkins University, was 367,356 and the number of recoveries globally was 2,533,246.

The US remains by far the worst country for number of cases and deaths at 1,764,671 and 103,472 deaths respectively.

The virus is now spreading fastest in Latin America, with more than 45,000 cases in the last 24 hours.

Brazil on Saturday reached 28,834 coronavirus fatalities, authorities said, surpassing hard-hit France and becoming the country with the world's fourth-highest death toll.

At the epicenter of South America's coronavirus outbreak, Brazil saw an increase of 33,274 cases on Saturday, which the Health Ministry said was a new daily record.

The UAE has 33,896 on the John Hopkins tracker.

There were 726 new cases detected in the UAE in the last 24 hours.

The country's number of recoveries on Saturday rose to 17,546, after 449 new cases were recorded.

Two additional Covid-19 deaths bring the total number of deaths to 262.

Europe, which has endured widespread lockdowns and economic crashes, is beginning to open up.

Health personnel perform coronavirus tests in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, one of the areas hardest hit by the pandemic. EPA
Health personnel perform coronavirus tests in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, one of the areas hardest hit by the pandemic. EPA

Many countries are easing lockdowns, often in stages, and opening borders.

More than two months after the coronavirus pandemic took hold on the continent, countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain are making plans to gradually welcome guests back.

From June, visitors from certain EU countries will be able to travel again, although each country has its own set of rules for those planning to visit.

Emirates has opened bookings for flights to 12 Arab countries, with the routes from Dubai resuming from July.

Flights to destinations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan and Jordan are now available to book for dates after July 1 on the airline’s website. In total, 16 of the airline’s services are set to resume.

But the threat of a second wave remains.

President Donald Trump wants state governors to ease lockdown orders. Many of them have done so, but the degree has been down to the severity of local outbreaks.

India has announced it will begin a major relaxation of the world’s biggest coronavirus lockdown from early June, despite another record rise in confirmed infections in the country.

Millions of migrant workers fled home to their villages, many of them walking hundreds of kilometres and some dying on the way.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi conceded that much of the country had since "undergone tremendous suffering" in an open letter to the public on Saturday.

Mr Modi announced a $266 billion package - 10 per cent of the country's GDP - to revive the battered economy.

Updated: May 31, 2020 03:39 AM

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