Covid-19 Updates: Global Death Toll Surpasses 800,000



Global virus deaths surpass 800,000, with South and Central American countries seeing large tallies.

The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000 on Saturday, according to data compiled by The New York Times, as new infections flared in Europe and high numbers of deaths were recorded across the United States, India, South Africa and most of Latin America.

Since the pandemic began, the countries with the highest number of deaths per capita have largely been concentrated in Europe, with countries including Belgium, Britain, Italy and the independent enclave of San Marino within it, and Spain all reporting more than 50 deaths per 100,000 people.

But in the past week, nine out of the 10 countries with the most deaths per capita have been in South and Central America or the Caribbean, according to The Times database. Of those, Brazil, Mexico and Peru have also seen total death counts that rank in the top 10 over all, with Brazil and Mexico having recorded the second and third most deaths globally, behind the United States.

New mortality figures in Bolivia reviewed by The Times suggest that the real death toll there is nearly five times the official tally, indicating that the country has had one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. About 20,000 more people — in a country of only about 11 million — have died since June than in past years, according to a Times analysis of data from Bolivia’s Civil Registry.

The rally ended last Sunday, but health officials warn that it will take time before the extent of associated outbreaks can be measured, as it can take days for symptoms to appear in people who have been infected.

Ms. Ehresmann said on Friday that she expected to see more cases recorded as additional information about the outbreak and subsequent contact tracing became available.

On Saturday, officials in South Dakota announced more than 250 new cases, a single-day record for the state.

Despite the recent rise of coronavirus infections in Germany, 4,000 people lined up to watch the singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko on Saturday in the eastern city of Leipzig.

But this wasn’t another story of an entertainment venue flouting public health concerns in order to get back to business. The daylong show was an experiment set up by scientists to help figure out why mass events are so effective at spreading the virus and how the riskiest behaviors could be avoided.

Each of the concertgoers passed a coronavirus test and had their temperature taken before entering the closed arena. They were all given trackers to allow researchers to monitor whom they came close to, as well as an FFP2 respirator mask to wear and a bottle of special fluorescing hand sanitizer that allowed researchers to learn which areas were most frequently touched.

Residence hall advisers are the front line in dorms. Students started arriving over the past week at Cornell University, and Jason Chang, a 24-year-old doctoral student who oversees undergraduates in his dorm, has been overwhelmed with violations of distancing rules.

“Constant insanity and madness,” Mr. Chang said. “That’s been my life this week.”

Penalties can run to suspensions and expulsions from campus housing, but education officials say it is generally not in the nature of colleges and universities to function like police states.

Many university officials seem to be relying on students to report one another to enforce coronavirus restrictions. Some colleges are advertising hotlines where students can anonymously report unsafe behavior.

A recent TikTok video that has more than 3.4 million views captured the spirit of self-enforcement, with two young men warning that they would rather tell on their classmates than be sent home. “I will rat you out,” one emphatically warns, adding: “I’m not doing Khan Academy from home. I refuse. And I hate the cops.”

As public markets and other spaces were allowed to reopen with little social distancing, cases began rising in congested localities. Now, India’s confirmed caseload has climbed from two million to nearly three million in just over two weeks.

A big wedding in New York State is blocked at the last minute.

A couple who planned to hold a wedding with 175 guests in western New York State on Saturday had to postpone it after a federal appeals court judge blocked the event, responding to a legal challenge by the state government over the crowd’s expected size.

The ruling, issued on Friday, came two weeks after a lower court said weddings at venues in the state that also function as restaurants where indoor dining is allowed were not subject to a 50-person cap on gatherings that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo imposed to help fight the coronavirus.

The lower court ruling opened the door for such wedding venues to host parties of more than 50 people under the same rules that apply to restaurants. Those rules now limit indoor service to half a restaurant’s typical capacity.

The lower court’s decision was prompted by a lawsuit filed by two couples who had booked weddings at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron, N.Y., about a half-hour’s drive northeast of Buffalo. One of the couples was married the day the ruling was issued. The other was to be married this weekend.

State officials, who have argued in court filings that weddings pose a greater public health risk than indoor dining and are potential “super-spreader” events, immediately appealed the ruling.

On Friday, Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted state lawyers’ emergency request to halt the second wedding until a panel of judges could consider their arguments more fully.

The House voted to block changes at the postal service. The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate.

The House interrupted its annual summer recess on Saturday for a rare weekend session to approve legislation blocking cost-cutting and operational changes at the Postal Service — moves that Democrats, civil rights advocates and some Republicans fear could jeopardize mail-in voting this fall.

The measure, put forward by Democratic leaders, also would require the Postal Service to prioritize the delivery of all election-related mail. It would grant the beleaguered agency a rare $25 billion infusion to cover revenue lost because of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has the resources to address what is expected to be the largest vote-by-mail operation in the nation’s history.

Democrats were joined by a small group of Republicans in voting yes, but the bill, as written, appeared unlikely to move through the Republican-controlled Senate. President Trump opposed the bill in last-minute tweets, calling it a “money wasting HOAX” by Democrats.

Democrats pressed ahead anyway, however, framing Saturday’s action as an emergency intervention to protect vital mail and package services that have seen significant delays this summer as the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, moved swiftly to cut costs to close a yawning budget gap. They said it was necessary to instill confidence in American voters that the agency would safeguard their ballots despite often baseless near daily attacks by President Trump on mail-in voting, criticisms that have raised concerns about the politicization of a trusted institution.

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the lead author of the bill, released internal post office documents on Saturday that she said revealed “a significant drop in service standards across the board since the beginning of July.”

“This is not a partisan issue,” Ms. Maloney said before the bill passed the House. “It makes absolutely no sense to impose these kinds of dangerous cuts in the middle of a pandemic and just months before the elections in November.”

Rafael Nadal has chosen not to travel to the U.S. Open. Roger Federer is recovering from knee surgery. But Novak Djokovic is in New York and is expected to play at the tournament, which will be held beginning Aug. 31 without spectators.

Djokovic is ranked No. 1 and remains a perfect 18-0 in 2020, just as he was when the pandemic-related hiatus began in March.

But he was hardly a big winner during the forced off-season. He generated concern and controversy by questioning vaccination and claiming that water could be affected by human emotions. And he dented his credibility and brand by organizing the Adria Tour, a charity exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia in June that lacked in social distancing and decorum, leading to a cluster of coronavirus cases. It was canceled before the finish with several leading players and some support staff testing positive.

Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, were among them, and they isolated for two weeks with their two young children in their native city of Belgrade, Serbia.

“We tried to do something with the right intentions,” Djokovic said of the tour. “Yes, there were some steps that could have been done differently, of course, but am I going to be then forever blamed for doing a mistake?” he told the Times’s Christopher Clarey.

Djokovic said his own virus symptoms were mild, lasting four to five days. He said he had no fever but did have fatigue and some loss of smell and taste and sensed some loss of stamina when he initially returned to practice. He’s monitoring himself for long-term effects.

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Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Julia Calderone, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Ron DePasquale, Conor Dougherty, Nicholas Fandos, Gillian Friedman, Anemona Hartocollis, Shawn Hubler, Annie Karni, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Dan Levin, Zach Montague, Allison McCann, Elisabetta Povoledo, Christopher F. Schuetze, Ed Shanahan, María Silvia Trigo and Sameer Yasir.



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