RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil has surpassed a grim milestone — 100,000 deaths from COVID-19. And five months after the first reported case, the country is showing no signs of crushing the disease.

The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since late May, and 905 were recorded in the latest 24-hour period to put Brazil above 100,000. The Health Ministry also said there have been been a total of 3,012,412 confirmed infections.

The totals are second only to the United States. And experts believe both numbers are severe undercounts due to insufficient testing.

Kentucky reports 801 new cases, 29 of which in young children

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky is reporting an increase of 801 cases of COVID-19, including 29 cases in children age 5 or younger.

In a news release, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state had a total of 34,578 cases of the illness caused by the new coronavirus and 772 deaths, including an incease of eight fatalities reported Saturday. Beshear says Saturday was a tough day the state’s fight against COVID-19.

Deaths reported Saturday include residents of Fulton, Kenton, Bell, Christian County, Pulaski County, Clinton and Muhlenberg counties.

South Africa hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s number of confirmed coronavirus deaths has surpassed 10,000.

The health ministry says the country with the world’s fifth-largest caseload now has 553,188 cases and 10,210 deaths.

South Africa makes up more than half the infections on the African continent, where the total number of cases this past week surpassed 1 million. Experts say the actual number of cases is several times that amount, given the shortage of testing materials and people can have the virus without symptoms.

Trump signs four executive orders after economic relief talks with Democrats collapsed

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Saturday signed several executive orders that he said would provide economic relief to millions of Americans, moving forward after talks with Democrats faltered.

One of the executive orders would aim to provide $400 in weekly unemployment aid for millions of Americans whose $600 in weekly benefits expired last month. But some of this money would be required to be paid by states, many of which are already dealing with major budget shortfalls and have pleaded with Congress for more aid.

Two of the other executive orders would relate to eviction protections and student loan relief.

And the fourth executive order would seek to defer payroll tax payments from August 1 – retroactively – through December for people who earn less than $100,000. He said if he wins reelection he would seek to extend the deferral and somehow “terminate” the tax. The tax funds Social Security and Medicare benefits, and it’s unclear what will happen to those programs without the money.

The first three issues had been the subject of talks with congressional Democrats, which faltered on Friday. The payroll tax initiative is one Trump has sought for more than a year with little congressional support.

Trump signed the orders during a press event in Bedminster, N.J. On Friday, Trump acknowledged that the executive orders could be controversial and prompt lawsuits. Democrats on Friday signaled they were still holding out hopes that talks with the White House could be revived.

Read the rest of this story here.

Arizona reports more than 1,000 new infections, 56 deaths

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 1,054 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 56 more deaths.

The figures from the Department of Health Services increased the state’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases to nearly 186,000 and the reported death toll to 4,137. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

The hospitalizations for coronavirus and use of intensive care beds and ventilators have been declining since mid-July.

Italy urges citizens to keep guard up on virus

ROME — Italy added another 347 coronavirus infections to its official tally, a day after it surpassed the 500-case barrier for the first time since late May.

Italy had 552 confirmed cases on Friday. With Saturday’s update from the health ministry, Italy’s daily caseload returns to the 200-300 range of new infections it has maintained for the past several weeks.

Government officials have urged Italians to keep their guard up, given Spain, France and Germany have seen daily infections top the 1,000-mark recently after the easing of virus lockdown measures.

Italian officials have blamed the new clusters largely on newly arrived migrants and Italians returning home from vacation outside their home regions. Another 13 people died in the last day, making Italy’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll 35,203 — sixth highest in the world.

Germany issues travel warning for Bulgaria, Romania

BERLIN — Germany’s Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for parts of Bulgaria and Romania because of regional spikes in coronavirus cases.

The ministry says on its website that tourists should avoid unnecessary travel to Blagoevgrad, Dobrich and Varna in Bulgaria. Varna on the Black Sea coast is a popular tourist destination.

It also urged travelers to avoid seven counties in Romania, most of them in the west of the country.

Travelers returning to Germany from those areas must undergo a compulsory coronavirus test.

Students return to class in Gaza after five months

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hundreds of thousands of students in the isolated Gaza Strip are returning to schools that have reopened after five months of closure.

The Palestinian enclave came been spared a serious outbreak of the coronavirus for now. There have been no known cases of community transmission among the 2 million residents of Gaza, which has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the militant Hamas group took power in 2007.

Seventy-eight people have tested positive for Covid-19 and a woman with underlying health issues died, all at the territory’s isolation centers.

With the virus at bay, 285,000 students at U.N.-run schools and some 277,000 pupils at public schools were headed back to school this week. They were not required to wear masks or keep distancing, but teachers at U.N. Relief and Works Agency schools poured sanitizers on students’ hands.

Authorities are studying a full-fledged back-to-school start in September.

Pakistan resumes international flights

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has announced that it will allow the full resumption of all types of international flights to and from the country’s airports from Sunday amid a steady decline in COVID-19 deaths and infections.

The announcement comes weeks after Pakistan partially reopened its airports for domestic and international commercial flights.

Earlier this week authorities allowed to resumption of domestic flights from all of the country’s airports.

A complete ban on domestic and international commercial flights was imposed in March when Pakistan enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Later, the restrictions were gradually eased and Pakistan witnessed a peak in virus deaths and infections in June.

Pakistan on Saturday reported only 14 fatalities from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising its total COVID-19-related fatalities to 6,068.

Germany, France challenge U.S. role in reforming WHO

BERLIN — Germany and France have challenged Washington’s role in leading talks over reforming the World Health Organization, citing the U.S. decision to quit the global body.

Germany’s Health Ministry said the issue was discussed during a call of health ministers from the Group of Seven leading economies Thursday.

In a statement Saturday, the ministry said that in view of the United States’ withdrawal from WHO, “Germany and France currently see no mandate for the U.S. to lead the WHO reform process for the G-7.”

“How can you be leading while you are leaving?” the ministry added.

The Trump administration, which holds the rotating presidency of the G-7 this year, has accused WHO of bowing to pressure from China in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Masks mandatory in Britain starting Monday

LONDON — People in Britain must wear masks in most indoor settings starting Saturday as the country tries to squash a rise in coronavirus infections that has followed the easing of lockdown measures.

England and Scotland now require face-coverings in most indoor spaces, including places of worship, museums, cinemas, banks and libraries. They were already mandatory in shops and on public transit.

A swath of northern England has been put under tougher restrictions that bar households from mixing, after a surge in infections that authorities blame partly on people meeting up in homes and pubs.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

The Office for National Statistics says the number of people testing positive for the virus has risen since the end of June — just after the country began to ease its lockdown — but may have leveled off. It estimated there were 3,700 new infections a day in the community in England in the week to Aug. 2, down from 4,200 a day the week before.

India reports 933 deaths in 24 hours

NEW DELHI, India — India has recorded 933 COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours as fresh infections surged by another 61,537 cases to reach nearly 2.1 million.

The Health Ministry says the total deaths touched 42,518, including more than 20,000 in the past 30 days. An average of around 50,000 new cases are reported each day since mid-June.

The ministry asked state authorities to test grocery shop workers and street vendors, saying that if undetected they can potentially spread infection to a large number of people.

India has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. It has the fifth-most deaths but its fatality rate of about 2% is far lower than the top two hardest-hit countries.

Even as India has maintained comparatively low mortality rates, the disease has spread widely across the country.

Hawaii announces remote learning only

HONOLULU — Hawaii officials say the state’s public school students will begin the academic year with remote learning only, after a spike of coronavirus cases.

Gov. David Ige said Friday that all public students will spend the first four weeks of the school year learning online from home.

Officials had originally planned to start the year with a mostly hybrid model in which students would alternate between online and in-person classes. The state will go to the hybrid approach in September if community transmission of the virus is brought under control.

Oahu has seen the majority of new cases in recent weeks, filling up hospital beds and spurring officials to close beaches, parks and hiking trails.

Australia closes roads to New South Wales

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s Queensland state has closed road access from neighboring New South Wales because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Only essential workers and locals living along the boundary will be allowed to enter Queensland. Police say nearly 150 people had been turned away in the early hours of the shutdown.

Queensland’s chief health officer has declared New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, which contains the national capital of Canberra, to be coronavirus hot spots. That led to Queensland closing its southern border for the second time since the coronavirus crisis began.

The Queensland government will review the border closure at the end of August. The state has had few new COVID-19 cases in the past month.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: