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Global COVID-19 cases cross 21 million-mark
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 15 - 08 - 2020

More than 21 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 759,411 have died. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
Coronavirus cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst-affected by the pandemic, exceeded 6 million on Friday and continued to accelerate, as most of its nations begin to relax lockdown measures.
The region, which has reported an average of more than 86,000 daily infections of the new coronavirus in the last seven days and more than 2,600 COVID-19 deaths, reached 6,000,005 confirmed cases by Friday evening and 237,360 deaths.
That accounts for just under one-third of the world's total case load and a similar share of reported deaths from the pandemic.
The Pan American Health Organization, the regional arm of the World Health Organization, warned this month of an increase in other diseases due to the saturation of health services and the suspension of routine vaccination campaigns as a result of the pandemic.
The International Monetary Fund predicted in June that the regional economy would contract 9.4% this year.
The region's worst-affected country is Brazil, which has the most cases in the world after the United States, and 15% of world's total.
Peru and Chile also have the highest case loads and number of deaths in the world per 100,000 inhabitants, of countries with more than 100,000 cases.
The region's climb from 5 million to 6 million cases took 11 days, one day less than it took to reach the previous million.
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.
Vietnam's coastal city of Danang plans to test its entire population of 1.1 million people for coronavirus, the governing authorities said on Saturday, as 40 new cases linked to the tourist hot spot were reported across the country.
The Philippines' health department said it would update its COVID-19 game plan within a week and sought to beef up the healthcare workforce in the capital Manila, where medical frontliners are calling for reviving strict lockdowns.
Seven Chinese health officials were due to arrive in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread testing for COVID-19 in the territory as the city races to halt a third wave of illness.
Thousands marched in Berlin on Saturday to protest against coronavirus restrictions in Germany, saying they violated people's rights and freedoms.
Russia reported 5,427 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally to 850,870, the fourth largest caseload in the world.
Two thirds of British businesses say they are now "fully operational" after the coronavirus lockdown, up from half in June, according to a survey. — Agencies


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