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Coronavirus digest: India virus deaths pass 100,000

More than 100,000 people have died of the coronavirus in India. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump's diagnosis has thrown his re-election campaign into disarray. DW rounds up the latest.

India's Health Ministry says confirmed deaths from the coronavirus have reached 100,842, the third-highest death toll behind the United States and Brazil.

India has also recorded 6.47 million COVID-19 infections and is on track to overtake the US as the country with the most cases in the next few weeks.

September has been India's worst month since the pandemic began, with more than 1,000 people dying every day on average from the virus. Still, experts warn India's lower rates of testing compared to many other countries mean its real tally is likely much higher.

Earlier in the week, India's lead pandemic agency released a survey suggesting that as many as 60 million Indians could have contracted the virus. Health experts have also warned the situation could deteriorate further during the upcoming winter and religious festival season.

Read more: Coronavirus: India's public health system on the verge of collapse

Watch video 01:59

Is India deliberately undercounting coronavirus deaths?

Elsewhere in Asia

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he was hospitalized for about two weeks with the coronavirus last month and has since recovered.

The 71-year-old self-exiled billionaire lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It's believed he contracted the virus at a food court.

Thaksin was elected prime minister in 2001 and was re-elected in 2005 before the army ousted him in a coup one year later. He fled Thailand in 2008 after being convicted on corruption charges.

Americas

US President Donald Trump's diagnosis with coronavirus has upended the race for the White House just one month out from the election.

Trump was flown to a military hospital on Friday evening after announcing that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus. The illness is the latest setback for the Trump campaign, which said the president's scheduled events would be canceled or postponed. The second presidential debate planned for October 15 was also in doubt.

Opinion polls show the Republican president trailing behind his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who now finds himself alone on the campaign trail. Trump had previously mocked Biden for wearing a mask and claimed the coronavirus threat was overblown.

The 74-year-old president is considered to be more at risk of having a severe case of illness, given his age. 

Read moreWhat is the experimental drug that Trump is being treated with?

Canada says it will ease coronavirus border restrictions to allow foreign students as well as noncitizens who are in a relationship with a Canadian to enter the country.

A ban on nonessential international arrivals has been extended until the end of October, but a number of exceptions will apply from Thursday. Apart from international students and those in a romantic relationship, siblings, grandparents and adult children of Canadians and permanent residents will also be exempt from the rule.

Venezuela is to participate in phase 3 human trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.

Around 2,000 Venezuelans will take part in the trials, which are due to start this month in the capital, Caracas, Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said.

The South American country has strengthened ties with Moscow amid US sanctions and after dozens of Western governments declared their support for opposition leader Juan Guaido. 

Venezuela has reported more than 76,000 COVID-19 cases and 635 deaths, although the real figures are believed to be much higher.

Watch video 02:49

Russia gears up for mass rollout of coronavirus vaccine

Europe

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Germany to celebrate 30 years as a reunified country with a scaled-down event rather than a big public party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were due to attend an official ceremony in the city of Potsdam on Saturday to mark German Unity Day — when East and West Germany became one country at the end of the Cold War. 

In the lead-up to the anniversary, Merkel thanked the activists and protesters who led the revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Germany is experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases, with more than 2,500 new infections and 19 deaths reported on Saturday.

The Spanish capital Madrid has entered a strict lockdown after a surge in new coronavirus cases. Under the new measures, set to last two weeks, people are not allowed to leave or enter the city and nine other areas in metropolitan Madrid without good reason.

Conservative regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso challenged the lockdown in court on Friday, arguing it should be put on hold until a final ruling can be handed down.

Around 6.6 million people are affected by the restrictions, which come after the Madrid area recorded 647 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks.

Watch video 02:13

Madrid prepares for second coronavirus lockdown

Africa

Soldiers in South Africa who had been enforcing one of the world's strictest coronavirus lockdowns have returned to their barracks.

More than 75,000 troops were deployed across the country in April to help police implement measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Some were accused of using excessive force.

Read moreSouth Africa's double blow: Corruption and the coronavirus

Despite the lockdown, South Africa emerged as the hardest-hit country on the continent with more than 676,000 infections and 16,866 deaths to date.

In a statement on Friday, the South African National Defense Force said the soldiers had "successfully contributed" to the anti-coronavirus effort, and that they would stand ready to assist in the event of a second wave.

Watch video 03:04

South Africa reopens borders

nm/mm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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