There have now been some 4,900,356 confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus globally, and 323,345 people have lost their lives, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Some 1,959,137 people have also recovered from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world.
The first three countries on the list are the United States, Russia, and Spain, although the US stands apart by far.
Here are the latest on the coronavirus pandemic from around the globe:
Venezuela registers highest daily case tally, mostly imported
Venezuela has imposed new curfews in several towns along its borders with Colombia and Brazil after an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
Venezuela’s Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a state television address on Tuesday that the Latin American country had confirmed 131 new cases in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day.
He added that the cases included 110 people who had contracted the virus abroad, bringing the total to 749, with 10 deaths.
Venezuela, once Latin America’s richest nation, has been battling hyperinflation at levels unmatched by any other country. About 2.3 million Venezuelans have left their home country since 2015, with many settling in nearby Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
But, with lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus in those countries now hurting their economies, thousands have been returning. Those returning have to spend 14 days in quarantine in shelters at the border, rather than in their home states.
Brazil reports record daily tallies
The number of cases and deaths registered in a single day in Brazil reached a record on Tuesday.
Brazil confirmed a staggering 17,408 cases in the last 24 hours and a record 1,179 deaths.
This week, Brazil overtook the United Kingdom to become the country with the fourth-highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has constantly criticized partial quarantine measures adopted by governors — including those in charge of the country’s most populous states, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro — to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
In April, he sacked his health minister, who had supported the restrictions that Bolsonaro says are damaging to the economy.
Brazil, with a population of more than 209 million, has the most COVID-19 cases in Latin America.
Australian official says ‘no medical reason’ to keep state borders closed
Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly says there is no medical justification for the continued closure of state borders.
“At that time [when borders were closed], we were seeing large numbers of cases starting to develop, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria. And so I can understand why those decisions were made,” Kelly said on Wednesday.
“But I would really stress at the national level and in the National Cabinet or in the Australian Health Protection Committee, we made no decisions or advice in relation to that... From a medical point of view, I can’t see why the borders are still closed,” he added.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said people will be able to take holidays within the Australian state from the beginning of June.
“We want people to enjoy themselves, to be free, but at the same time, please know that nothing we do is the same during a pandemic!” she said in a televised media conference.
UN chief praises Africa’s efforts to stem outbreak
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the developed world could learn lessons from the preventative measures taken by many African countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has made much slower progress (in Africa) than the predictions that were made at the beginning” of the crisis, Guterres said in an interview with RFL radio in France on Wednesday.
This has been largely due to the fact that “most African governments and organizations took in time very brave prevention measures which provide a lesson for some developed nations that did not,” he said.
There have been fewer than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths from the 88,000 cases of the disease registered throughout the African continent, relatively low numbers compared to the over 323,000 deaths worldwide.
Estonia starts testing digital immunity passport for workplaces
Estonia has begun testing one of the world’s first digital immunity passports in an attempt to seek a safer return to workplaces following the coronavirus lockdown.
The device, which has been created by a team of global tech startups, collects testing data and allows people to share their health status with a third party via a temporary QR code.
Estonia, which has so far recorded 64 deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,791 infections, started easing its lockdown measures this month.
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