Health News Roundup: Global coronavirus deaths exceed 800,000; Brazil registers 50,032 new cases and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Mexico passes somber coronavirus milestone even as signs of hope emerge
Standing in a graveyard on the outskirts of Mexico City decked out in a cowboy hat to cover his rugged features from the sun, guitar player Eberardo Vargas this week had fewer funerals to play at than he has for most of the coronavirus pandemic. Even as Mexico passes a grim new milestone in its battle with the pandemic – 60,000 fatalities – signs of relief are beginning to emerge in the country that has registered more dead than any other bar the United States and Brazil.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday accused members of the “deep state” at the Food and Drug Administration, without providing evidence, of working to slow testing of COVID-19 vaccines until after the November presidential election. In a Twitter post, Trump said the deep state “or whoever” at the FDA was making it very difficult for drug companies to enroll people in clinical trials to test vaccines and therapies for the novel coronavirus.
Global coronavirus deaths exceed 800,000
The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000 on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil and India leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks that ended on Friday.
Brazil registers 50,032 new cases of coronavirus, 892 deaths in 24 hours
Brazil reported 50,032 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 892 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday. Brazil has registered 3,582,362 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 114,250, according to ministry data from the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak outside the United States.
Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 782 to 232,864 – RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 782 to 232,864, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,269, the tally showed.
WHO says children aged 12 and over should wear masks like adults
The World Health Organization (WHO) said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach. Children aged 12 and over should particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a document on the WHO website dated Aug. 21.
South Korea reports biggest rise in coronavirus cases since March
South Korea reported its highest daily rise in novel coronavirus cases since early March on Sunday, as outbreaks continued to spread from a Seoul church and from political demonstrations its members had attended. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 397 new infections as of midnight Saturday, up from the previous day’s 332 and marking more than a week of daily three-digit rises.
How big gatherings spread COVID-19: German scientists stage concert experiment
Around 1,500 volunteers equipped with face masks, hand disinfectant and tracking gadgets attended an indoor concert in Germany on Saturday as part of a study to simulate how the novel coronavirus spreads in large gatherings. As part of the so-called Restart19 study, researchers from the University Medical Center in Halle want to find out how cultural and sporting events can safely take place without posing a risk to the population.
Australia wrestles with coronavirus second-wave, 17 more dead
Australia recorded a further 17 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday but infections in the hard-hit state of Victoria, the site of all the latest deaths, are showing a downward trend, authorities said on Sunday. Other than in Victoria, which accounts for over 80% of Australia’s COVID-19 deaths due to a second wave of infections, the country has largely avoided the high casualty numbers of many nations with about 24,500 infections and 502 deaths.
Nearly a fifth of 11,000 people enrolled so far in a 30,000-volunteer U.S. trial testing a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are Black or Latino, groups among the hardest hit by the coronavirus virus pandemic, a top Pfizer executive said. “Between Latinx and Black or African American populations, we’re running at about 19 percent or so,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development, told Reuters in an interview.