The number of coronavirus cases in Latin America surpassed seven million, as legislators in Argentina’s capital passed a law allowing relatives to maintain a bedside vigil for patients dying of COVID-19.
- South Korea extended social distancing rules in the capital, Seoul, amid triple-digit rise in cases while India reported another record jump in daily cases. New Delhi has reported the world’s highest single-day caseload every day since August 7.
Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s John Nkengasong said 23 of Africa’s 54 countries have reported a sustained decrease in new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past couple of weeks.
- More than 24.3 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 15.8 million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 828,000 people have died.
Here are the latest updates:
Friday, August 28
05:15 GMT – Japan aims to secure vaccines for all citizens by mid-2021
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced new measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, including boosting testing capability to 200,000 tests per day and aiming to secure enough vaccines for all citizens by mid-2021.
Abe also said that Japan will allow foreigners with residence status to enter the country from the start of next month.
04:52 GMT – India reports record daily jump of 77,266 infections
India reported a record daily jump of 77,266 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 3.39 million.
India has reported the highest single-day caseload in the world every day since August 7, a Reuters tally showed, and is the third-most affected country behind only the United States and Brazil.
Deaths in the same period went up by 1,057, taking the total toll to 61,529.
04:26 GMT – Venezuela using COVID-19 to crack down on critics, says HRW
Venezuelan security forces and authorities under President Nicolas Maduro have used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to crack down on dissenting voices, Human Rights Watch reported.
The New York-based rights group said Venezuelan authorities have targeted dozens of journalists, healthcare workers, human rights lawyers and political opponents critical of the government’s response to the pandemic.
Some critics have been physically abused to levels bordering on torture, it said in a report listing 162 such cases from March through June.
“In Venezuela today, you can’t even share a private message criticizing the Maduro government via WhatsApp without fear of being prosecuted,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.
Venezuela crisis: Security forces accused of human rights abuses (2:50)
03:57 GMT – Trump says US will ‘crush’ Covid-19 with vaccine ‘this year’
US President Donald Trump pledged to “crush” the coronavirus pandemic with a vaccine by the end of the year, as he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination for a second term.
“We are marshaling America’s scientific genius to produce a vaccine in record time,” Trump said.
“We will have a safe and effective vaccine this year and together we will crush the virus.”
03:22 GMT – UN concern over ‘widespread’ COVID-19 transmission in Syria
Ramesh Rajasingham, the UN’s deputy emergency relief coordinator, said COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on health services in Syria, where limited testing is obscuring the real extent of the pandemic.
Official COVID-19 figures suggest community transmission of the coronavirus is widespread in Syria, he told the UN Security Council, with the majority of the 2,440 cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health not traceable to any known source.
“Reports of healthcare facilities filling up, of rising numbers of death notices and burials, all seem to indicate that actual cases far exceed official figures,” he told the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, health workers still lack sufficient personal protective equipment and several facilities have suspended operations due to lack of capacity and staff falling sick from COVID-19, he said.
02:43 GMT – S Korea extends coronavirus curbs as cases rise
Chung Sye-kyun, the prime minister of South Korea, extended social distancing rules in the Seoul metropolitan area for one more week amid another triple-digit increase in daily coronavirus cases.
The phase two restrictions, which ban gatherings of more than 50 people indoors, were due to expire this weekend.
Chung said there are growing calls to elevate the distancing requirements to the highest level on the three-phase level, but thart remains “the choice of last resort given its economic and social repercussions”.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 371…