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Brazil jumps to world No. 2 in coronavirus cases, behind the U.S.

Tori Holland

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Brazil jumps to world No. 2 in coronavirus cases, behind the U.S.

Gravediggers wearing protective suits bury a coffin during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Vila Formosa cemetery, Brazil’s biggest cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 22, 2020. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil became the world No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases on Friday, second only to the United States, after it confirmed that 330,890 people had been infected by the virus, overtaking Russia, the Health Ministry said.

Brazil registered 1,001 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday, taking total deaths to 21,048, according to the Health Ministry.

In Sao Paulo, the worst hit city, aerial video showed rows of open plots at the Formosa Cemetery as it rushed to keep up with demand.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his handling of the outbreak and is at the center too of a deepening political crisis.

The former army captain has seen his poll ratings drop, hurt by his opposition to social distancing measures, support of the unproven remedy chloroquine, and tussles with experienced public health officials.

The true number of cases and deaths is likely higher than the figures suggest, as Latin America’s top economy has been slow to ramp up testing.

The outbreak is accelerating. On Monday, Brazil overtook Britain to become the country with the third highest number of infections. It surpassed Russia on Friday, but is unlikely to pass the United States soon. The world’s No 1 economy has more than 1.5 million cases.

Since the outbreak began, Bolsonaro has lost two health ministers, after pressuring them to promote the early use of anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Several high-profile public health experts have also left. Many have been replaced by soldiers.

On Wednesday, Interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello, an active-duty army general, authorized new guidelines for the wider use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in mild cases.

Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Chris Reese and Rosalba O’Brien

After being a professional journalist for 5 years and understanding the ups and downs of health care sector all over the world, Tori shifted her focus to the digital world. Today, she works as a contributor for News Brig with a knack for covering general and health news in the best possible format.

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Health/Science/Environment

Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections

Tori Holland

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Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections

FILE PHOTO: Medical staff wearing protective suits take a rest at an emergency room amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, Indonesia, June 5, 2020, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/FB Anggoro/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia reported on Saturday its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 993 new cases, taking its total number to 30,514, a health ministry official said.

The official, Achmad Yurianto, reported 31 new deaths related to COVID-19, taking the total number of deaths in Indonesia to 1,801.

Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Angie Teo; Writing by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Robert Birsel

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Health/Science/Environment

India overtakes Italy’s coronavirus tally as lockdown easing looms

Tori Holland

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India overtakes Italy's coronavirus tally as lockdown easing looms

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India reported a record 9,887 new coronavirus cases in one day on Saturday and overtook Italy as the world’s sixth-biggest outbreak, two days before the relaxing of a lockdown with the reopening of malls, restaurants and places of worship.

FILE PHOTO: A man carries his son as he stands with others in a queue at a Railway reservation ticket counter after a few restrictions were lifted during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

With its total number of cases rising to more than 236,000, India now has fewer infections than only the United States, Brazil, Russia, Britain and Spain, according to a Reuters tally.

However, India’s toll of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is 6,642, small compared with those other countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the epidemic and put millions of people back to work, is easing its lockdown of the 1.3 billion population imposed in March, which the government says helped avoid an exponential rise in cases.

Restrictions will be loosened from Monday but some experts are worried it is too soon.

Giridhar R Babu, epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, in particular questioned the re-opening of religious places.

“We can survive and sustain the gains without … opening up religious places for sometime,” Babu said on Twitter.

Concerts, sporting events and political rallies are still banned.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said late on Friday India’s lockdown had helped it dampen down transmission of the disease, but there was a risk the cases could rise again.

“As India and in other large countries open up and people begin to move there is always a risk of the disease bouncing back up,” Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, told a news conference in Geneva.

People visiting places of worship will be asked to wash their hands and feet, and there will be no distribution of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in GENEVA; Editing by Aditya Kalra, Robert Birsel

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Russia reports 8,855 new coronavirus cases, 197 deaths in last 24 hours

Tori Holland

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Russia reports 8,855 new coronavirus cases, 197 deaths in last 24 hours

A woman wearing a protective face mask and gloves walks through a disinfection cabin placed at the entrance of the Evropeyskiy shopping mall, after it was reopened as part of a phase of lifting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Moscow, Russia June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia reported 8,855 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, pushing the total number of infections to 458,689.

Officials said 197 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,725.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Maxim Rodionov, writing by Andrey Ostroukh, editing by Mark Potter

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