Mexico now has the third most COVID-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the United States, where a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast on Saturday is threatening to complicate efforts to contain the virus.
Hurricane Isaias’ imminent arrival forced the closure of some outdoor testing sites even though Florida has become a major hot spot, and other states in the path of the storm prepared emergency shelters that comply with social-distancing measures.
“We had to put safety first,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Friday.
But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said no immediate evacuation orders have been given and that hospitals, in general, are not being evacuated of coronavirus or other patients.
Meanwhile, Mexican health officials on Friday, July 31st, reported 688 new deaths, pushing the country’s confirmed total to over 46,600. That put Mexico just ahead of the United Kingdom, which has more than 46,100, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Some countries are seeing hopeful signs: China reported a more than 50% drop in newly confirmed cases in a possible indication that its latest major outbreak in the northwestern region of Xinjiang may have run its course.
However, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, infections continue to surge. Hong Kong reported more than 100 new cases as of Saturday among the population of 7.5 million. Officials have reimposed dining restrictions and mask requirements.
Tokyo on Saturday saw its third day straight of record case numbers, the metropolitan government said. Nationwide, Japan’s daily count of cases totaled a record 1,579 people Friday, the health ministry said.
And Vietnam, a former success story, is struggling to control an outbreak spreading in its most famous beach resort. A third person died there of coronavirus complications, officials said Saturday, a day after it recorded its first-ever death as it wrestles with a renewed outbreak after 99 days with no local cases.
All three died in a hospital in Da Nang, a hot spot with more than 100 cases in the past week. Thousands of visitors had been in the city for summer vacation and are now being tested in Hanoi and elsewhere.
Twelve additional cases were confirmed on Saturday, all linked to Da Nang Hospital. Officials tightened security and set up more checkpoints to prevent people from leaving or entering the city, which has been in lockdown since Tuesday.
A makeshift hospital was set up, and doctors have been mobilized from other cities to help.