Mexico has the third most common COVID-19 deaths in the world after Brazil and the United States, where Saturday’s hurricane on the east coast threatens to hamper efforts to contain the virus.
The upcoming arrival of Hurricane Isaias forced some outdoor test sites to close, despite Florida reaching a new daily high in deaths, and other states on the storm’s path were preparing shelters to meet social detachment measures.
“We had to put security first,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Friday.
In Utah, the Salt Lake City School District School Board announced that its schools will begin the year with all online classes to respond to an increasing number of confirmed cases in the city. Just a few days after Indiana state schools reopened, at least one student and one school worker in Indianapolis districts tested positive for the virus.
The debate about school openings came when Dr. Anthony Fauci rejected a tweet from President Donald Trump claiming that the United States’ global lead in coronavirus cases was due to increased testing.
Fauci said the scale of the US outbreak was the result of several factors, including some states that are opening too quickly and violating federal guidelines.
On Friday, the head of the World Health Organization predicted that the effects of the pandemic will be felt in the coming decades.
“Most people around the world are still vulnerable to this virus, even in areas with severe outbreaks,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in London. “Although vaccine development is happening at a record pace, we have to learn to live with this virus.”
Meanwhile, Mexican health officials reported 688 new deaths on Friday, raising the country’s confirmed total to over 46,600. According to Johns Hopkins University, Mexico was just ahead of the United Kingdom with more than 46,100 inhabitants.
Some countries see hopeful signs: China has reported a more than 50% drop in newly confirmed cases, suggesting that its recent severe outbreak in the northwestern region of Xinjiang may have started its run.
However, infections continue to increase in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Hong Kong reported more than 100 new cases with a population of 7.5 million on Saturday. Officials have reintroduced food restrictions and mask requirements.
Tokyo had its third consecutive day on Saturday with record numbers, the city government said. Nationwide, the daily number of cases in Japan on Friday was a record 1,579, the Ministry of Health said. The growing number has alarmed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other regional leaders.
And Vietnam, an earlier success story, is struggling to control an eruption that is spreading in its most famous beach resort. A third person died there from coronavirus complications, officials said on Saturday, the day after she had her first death when she struggled to break out again after 99 days without local cases.
All three died in a hospital in Da Nang, a hot spot with more than 100 cases in the past week. Thousands of visitors were in town during the summer vacation and are now being tested in Hanoi and elsewhere.
On Saturday, twelve more cases were confirmed, all of which were related to Da Nang Hospital. Officials tightened security and set up more checkpoints to prevent people from leaving or entering the city that has been closed since Tuesday.
A provisional hospital was set up and doctors from other cities were mobilized to help.
“I want to be tested so that I can no longer worry whether I have the virus or not,” said Pham Thuy Hoa, a bank employee who had returned to the capital from Da Nang.
In South Korea, prosecutors arrested the senior leader of a secret religious sect that is linked to more than 5,200 of the country’s approximately 14,300 confirmed cases. He denied the charge of hiding members and not reporting meetings to avoid broader quarantines.
The global pandemic has affected almost every aspect of this year’s Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. 1,000 pilgrims have already participated in Saudi Arabia, compared to 2.5 million in the previous year.
The poverty caused by the pandemic also makes it difficult for many to take part in the four-day Eid al-Adha or “Victim Festival”, in which Muslims slaughter cattle and distribute the meat to the poor.
“I could hardly buy food for my family,” said Somali official Abdishakur Dahir. “We are just surviving. Life is getting harder every day. “
The Saudi Ministry of Health said there were no cases of COVID-19 among this year’s pilgrims. All were tested, their movements monitored with electronic wristbands and had to be quarantined before and after.
Meanwhile, India has seen the steepest increase, with 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours, with nearly 1.7 million cases of coronavirus, with almost 1.1 million infections in July alone.
The country’s Ministry of Civil Aviation delayed the resumption of international flights by another month until August 31. However, it will continue to allow several international airlines from the United States, Europe and the Middle East to operate special flights to evacuate stranded nationals.
In France, travelers from 16 countries where the virus is widespread must undergo virus tests upon arrival at airports and ports. The country does not allow general travel to and from countries that include the United States and Brazil. The obligation to check therefore only applies to persons who enter under certain circumstances, including French citizens who live in these countries. Anyone who tests positive from Saturday must quarantine for 14 days.
As autumn approaches, nations around the world are struggling to safely reopen schools.
A scientist advising the UK government on the coronavirus pandemic says pubs in England may need to be closed in order for schools to reopen in September. Graham Medley, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergency, told the BBC that there may have to be a “compromise”.