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Global coronavirus cases top 7 million as cases jump in Brazil, India

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: Global cases of the coronavirus topped seven million on Saturday, as case numbers surge in Brazil and India, according to a Reuters tally.

About 30 per cent of those cases, or some two million infections, are in the United States.

Latin America has the second-largest outbreak with more than 15 per cent of cases.

Globally, deaths from the coronavirus are approaching 400,000.

The US accounts for about one-quarter of all fatalities, but deaths in South America are rapidly rising.

Brazil's death toll passed 35,000 as its president, Mr Jair Bolsonaro, echoed criticism of the World Health Organisation (WHO) by US President Donald Trump, who has said the US will defund the organisation because it is too close to China.

"The United States left the WHO, and we're studying that, in the future. Either the WHO works without ideological bias, or we leave, too," the far-right leader told journalists.

Tolls are also rising sharply in Mexico, Peru and Ecuador, while in Chile, deaths have risen by more than 50 per cent in the past week.

But at around 110,000 dead, the US has the highest death toll in the world.

The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in just five months is now equal to the number of people who die annually from malaria, one of the world's most deadly infectious diseases.

The first Covid-19 death was reported on Jan 10 in Wuhan, China, but it was early April before the death toll passed 100,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments.

It took 23 days to go from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths.

Despite the deaths and mounting economic problems, Mr Trump said his country was bouncing back economically.

"We had the greatest economy in the history of the world. And that strength let us get through this horrible pandemic, largely through, I think we're doing really well," he told reporters.

As the country reels from a second weekend of massive protests against racism and police brutality, Mr Trump - facing re-election in November - reiterated his calls to further ease stay-at-home measures.

It followed surprisingly upbeat employment numbers that showed the country gained 2.5 million jobs last month. - REUTERS, AFP

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