The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down in the worst-affected countries, the United States, Brazil and India. The three nations account for more than 60% of the new positive cases of the virus, according to recent estimations by John Hopkins University.
India reported today almost 25,000 new coronavirus infections, as the disease continues to spread among its 1.4 billion inhabitants. Meanwhile, the US reported nearly 59,00 new daily cases, close to the record of 60,000 cases from a day earlier. In Brazil, nearly 45,000 new cases were reported.
The number of confirmed cases in the US has already passed three million, which means at least one in every 100 people has been infected, with the number of deaths exceeding 132,000. President Trump stills wants to reopen schools and threatened to hold back federal money from districts that don’t follow through.
Despite the pressure, New York City announced that most of its students would return to classrooms only two or three days a week and would learn online in between. “Most schools will not be able to have all their kids in school at the same time,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press conference.
Health experts have urged US officials to reconsider how they are planning to reopen the economy as a whole and to prioritize schools. This would mean closing down some establishments like bars to limit the spread of the virus and increase the possibility of returning to the classrooms.
“We need to think about what our priorities are as a society, and some other things may just have to wait” Helen Jenkins, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Boston University, told AP. “I think there are hard choices having to be made by decision-makers.”
In Brazil, cases of coronavirus are soaring across the country, and the healthcare system in several states has been stretched to its limit. Brazil is second only to the United States in the number of infections and deaths, and on Tuesday, president Jair Bolsonaro was also diagnosed with Covid-19.
The virus first hit Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, as well as some regions in the southeast of the country, such as San Pablo or Rio de Janeiro, but in recent weeks it has spread with force to other areas, such as the west center and the south.
Meanwhile, India remains as the third country with the largest number of cases, so far totaling 767,296. Of those, about 476,000 have already recovered. Maharashtra remains the most affected state and accumulates more than 223,000 positives, followed by Tamil Nadu (more than 122,000) and Delhi (almost 105,000).
The situation in other countries
The novel coronavirus has also been spreading quite fast in South Africa, which registered almost 9,000 new cases in the latest daily update. The government is preparing 1.5 million gravesites, according to a provincial health official, who told AP it’s the public’s responsibility “to make sure that we don’t get there.”
Meanwhile, in Australia, following initial success in containing the outbreak, the country reported 179 new cases. Most of them were located in the city of Melbourne, which has imposed a new six-week lockdown. Six new cases were from a high school that is now considered the state’s larger known cluster with 113 people infected.
The virus is also escalating in Tokyo, with more than 220 new cases today, exceeding the record daily increase from mid-April. Most of the new cases are linked to night clubs, according to Tokyo’s virus task force, but there are also growing concerns of a wider spread in the community from workplaces and households.
In Serbia, the police threw tear gas at protesters who were complaining against the president’s handling of the outbreak. The government backtracked on reinstating a lockdown in Belgrade and demonstrations turned violent, with protesters throwing stones against the parliament.