PARIS: The coronavirus death toll in Brazil topped 100,000 on Sunday from three million cases of infection, crossing the grim milestone after President Jair Bolsonaro said he had a “clear conscience” on his response to the outbreak.
With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 cases, the South American country of 212m people is the second hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic after the United States.
Brazil has seen about 478 deaths per million people, a figure roughly equivalent to that of the US (487), but lower than that of Spain (609) or Italy (583). Senate speaker Davi Alcolumbre announced four days of mourning in Congress to pay tribute to the country’s 100,000-plus virus victims. The coronavirus outbreak in Brazil is showing no sign of slowing as it enters its sixth month. The country’s right-wing leader, who tested positive for the virus last month but has since recovered, said on Thursday he had “a clear conscience” and had done “everything possible to save lives”.
Bolsonaro had called the governors of states that took containment measures, which he opposed for economic reasons, “dictators”.
Chile’s death toll has topped 10,000 five months after the virus first appeared in one of worst affected countries in Latin America.
Global caseload nearing 20m mark
With a population of just 18m, the death toll ratio works out at 523.7 dead per million inhabitants, higher even than Brazil’s 472.7.
More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus in South Africa.
Africa’s most industrialised economy has registered 553,188 infections, more than half of the continental caseload, and the fifth biggest number of Covid-19 cases in the world.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 727,288 people since it emerged in China last December, with a total of 19.67m cases, meaning the 20 million mark is likely to be breached in the next few days.
According to a tally of official data, some 11.66m people are now considered to have recovered from the illness.
The United States is the worst-hit country with at least 162,425 deaths from over 5m cases.
French regions have increased the compulsory use of protective masks against the coronavirus in busy public spaces where social distancing is more difficult. Paris adopts the same measure from Monday (today).
Anyone walking along the Seine in the heart of the city, visiting the tourist hub of Montmartre or shopping in some of the busier streets will all have to wear a mask, facing a fine of 135 euros if they refuse, as the number of cases edges up around the country.
Several resort towns on the Belgian coast say they will bar day-trippers after fights broke out between police and youths told to leave a beach for refusing to respect coronavirus safety measures.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2020