THE global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.
Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.
That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds.
The United States and Latin America are the new epicenters of the pandemic and both are struggling to curb the spread of the virus.
The coronavirus was initially slower to reach Latin America, which is home to about 640 million people, than much of the world. But officials have since struggled to control its spread because of the region’s poverty and densely packed cities.
More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Program. Many have jobs in the informal sector with little in the way of a social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.
The United States, home to around 330 million people, has also been battered by the virus despite being one of the richest nations in the world.
The US government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Monday said states with high coronavirus case counts should reconsider imposing lockdown restrictions, emphasizing the need to get cases to a low baseline before the fall flu season.
Even in parts of the world that had appeared to have curbed the spread of the virus, countries have recently seen single-day records in new cases, signaling the battle is far from over. Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel all recently had record increases in cases.
Democrats and voting rights groups have warned that cost-saving measures instituted at the Postal Service by a Trump financial backer who is now the postmaster general could lead to delays in service just as voting by mail ramps up. — Reuters
Latin America now has world’s highest coronavirus death toll
LATIN America surpassed Europe on Tuesday to become the region with the highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.
The region has now recorded more than 206,000 deaths, approximately 30% of the global total.
Brazil, the Latin American country most affected by the novel coronavirus, has now recorded a total of 95,819 deaths as of Tuesday. Mexico, the second-most affected country in the region, has 48,869 deaths.
The spread of the pandemic has also accelerated in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.
Last week Latin America became the most-affected region by the number of cases. On Monday, its number of infections surpassed 5 million, according to a Reuters tally based on government data.
The number of cases increased after authorities relaxed lockdown measures in order to stimulate economic growth.
The virus has infected more than 18.4 million people worldwide. The global death toll is 698,000.