Coronavirus News Asia

Latin America loses 70,000 as global economy hit

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The coronavirus pandemic advanced steadily Wednesday through Latin America, where the death toll passed the grim milestone of 70,000 fatalities, even as Europe planned to reopen its external borders to foreigners in July.

The Americas – North and South – remained the epicenter of the global health crisis, accounting for almost half the 412,926 deaths and 7.3 million infections worldwide, based on an AFP tally of figures released by national health ministries by 1900 GMT.

Brazil accounts for almost 40,000 – or more than half – of Latin America’s total deaths, registering 1,274 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Even as the virus continued to cut a swath through the country, economic capital Sao Paulo began reopening shops on Wednesday as part of a gradual resumption of activity.

Click on the link at the top to see a live version of virus information. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering produced this website, which displays statistics about deaths and confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or Covid-19. Image: Johns Hopkins

Shopping malls were set to reopen in a slew of cities on Thursday, the day before Brazilians celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Mexico, with nearly 15,000 Covid-19 deaths, and Peru, with almost 6,000 deaths from 208,000 cases, are also battling a deep surge.

However, lawmakers in Bolivia, with a relatively small toll of 487 coronavirus deaths, Wednesday approved the date of September 6 for the country’s virus-delayed general elections.

Elsewhere, tourism-dependent Miami reopened its beaches for the first time in three months amid evidence that despite nearly two million cases and 112,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the US, that the worst may have passed for the economy. 

“I almost started crying as soon as I came out onto the beach,” said travel agent Julie Isaacson, 63.

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