Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus cases exceed 100,000

  • Global death toll from the coronavirus surged past 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 30 percent of those cases, or two million infections, are in the US. Latin America has the second-largest outbreak, with more than 15 percent of cases. There are over 6.9 million cases globally.

  • Brazil has removed from public view months of data on its COVID-19 epidemic, as President Jair Bolsonaro defended delays and changes to official record-keeping of the world’s second-largest outbreak. At least 36,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the country.
  • The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia has exceeded 100,000, following a rise in new infections over the past ten days.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its position on face masks and is now encouraging people to wear them in crowded places, citing anecdotal evidence that supports their value in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, June 7

14:55 – S Africa government, private hospitals agree deal on COVID-19 patients

The South African government has agreed how much it will pay private hospitals and medical practitioners to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients if public hospitals run out of space, a senior health official told the Reuters news agency.

The government has been in talks for months with private firms and medical associations ahead of a probable scenario where public hospitals run out of critical care beds.

Agreement has been reached on a daily fee of up to 16,000 rand ($950) for COVID-19 patients that get treated in critical care beds in private hospitals, said Anban Pillay, the health ministry’s deputy director-general for national health insurance.

14:35 GMT – Scotland, N Ireland report no new COVID-19 deaths in past 24 hours

Scotland has recorded no deaths of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, Scottish health minister Jeane Freeman said.

Northern Ireland’s health department also said it had no new COVID-19 deaths reported in the 24 hours to 0900 GMT on Sunday.

“I would offer a note of caution about reading too much into today’s figure. We know that fewer deaths tend to be registered at the weekend,” Freeman said at a news conference.

“It is still very likely that further COVID deaths will be reported in the days ahead.”

14:10 GMT – Don’t celebrate victory over coronavirus yet: Pope

Pope Francis warned Italians to not let their guard down against coronavirus now that infection rates have fallen and urged them to obey government rules on social distancing and wearing masks.

Francis, addressing several hundred people in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday blessing, reacted to applause that broke out when he said their presence, albeit reduced, was a sign that Italy had overcome the acute phase of the pandemic.

“Be careful. Don’t cry victory too soon,” he cautioned them, departing from his prepared text.

Nearly 34,000 people have died in Italy from the coronavirus, the fourth highest toll in the world after the United States, Britain and Brazil.

13:50 GMT – Delhi reserves hospital beds for residents as cases surge

The city of New Delhi ordered many of its hospital beds to be reserved solely for residents of the Indian capital, as the number of COVID-19 infections continued to surge.

India on Sunday registered 9,971 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 246,628 cases, with 6,929 deaths. The case numbers now lag only the United States, Brazil, Russia, United Kingdom and Spain.

New Delhi city alone has registered more than 10 percent of total cases, making it the third worst-affected part of the country after the western state of Maharashtra, home to financial capital Mumbai, and southern Tamil Nadu state.

13:30 GMT – Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus cases exceed 100,000

The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia exceeded 100,000, following a rise in new infections over the past ten days.

The Saudi Ministry of Health reported 3,045 new cases , taking the total to 101,914, with 712 deaths. The number of new daily cases exceeded 3,000 for the first time on Saturday.

The country of 30 million people recorded its first COVID-19 infection on March 2. Health authorities said in April the virus could eventually infect between 10,000 and 200,000 people in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom topped 50,000 cases on May 16.

12:45 GMT – New York mayor lifts curfew ahead of pandemic ‘reopening’

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a curfew he had imposed on the city for nearly a week as anti-racism protests raged there and nationwide.

“Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” de Blasio tweeted in announcing that the curfew was over “effective immediately.”

The 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew – the city’s first in 75 years — ends a day early on the eve of the city’s “reopening” on Monday after more than two months of sheltering-at-home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

12:30 GMT – India sees almost 10,000 new cases ahead of reopenings

India has reported 9,971 new coronavirus cases in another biggest single-day spike, a day before it prepares to reopen shopping malls, hotels and religious places after a 10-week lockdown.

India has now surpassed Spain as the fifth hardest-hit country, with more than 247,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including nearly 7,000 deaths.

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