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Coronavirus digest: US infections top 5 million

The US has now reported over 5 million coronavirus cases, or over one-quarter of all confirmed infections across the world. The US also leads the globe on COVID-19 deaths. Catch up on the latest on the pandemic.

As the US struggles to contain the pandemic, the US-based Johns Hopkins University has reported over 5 million confirmed coronavirus infections on US soil on Sunday. Health experts put the death toll to nearly 162,500. The US has seen more pandemic deaths and infections than any other country in the world.

The US has also recorded more deaths and cases per capita than any other nation, according to data complied by worldometers.info website. However, its per capita values are only moderately higher than the ones reported in Brazil, a country of 212 million that now has over 3,012,000 cases and some 100,500 reported deaths.

Read more: Germans concerned at rise in COVID-19 cases, poll shows

Here is the latest coronavirus news from around the globe:

Americas

A man in a mask pushes a stroller past a Jos. A Bank in Manhattan

The US economy has been hard-hit by the pandemic, with many businesses filing for bankruptcy

As multiple sources put the number of US infections over 5,000,000, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that it was a "number that boggles the mind and breaks the heart."

"It shouldn't have gotten this bad," Biden wrote on Twitter.

Previously, President Donald Trump signed executive orders on the partial restoration of unemployment payments, as Congress remains deadlocked over a stimulus package that would extend economic aid.

"This is the money they need, this is the money they want, this gives them an incentive to go back to work," Trump said, signing an executive order that will provide an extra $400 per week in unemployment payments on Saturday

The new number is lower than the $600 per week that was passed during the initial stage of the pandemic.

Trump also signed orders providing eviction protection and student loan repayment relief, as well as one suspending payroll taxes for people earning less than $100,000 (€85,000) per year.

Commenting on Brazil passing 100,000 deaths, Dr. Jose Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society, said Brazilians were not taking the pandemic seriously: "We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective amnesia." 

The ministry confirmed there were 100,477 deaths and more than 3 million confirmed cases, making it the second-hardest hit country in the world after the United States.

The virus took three months to kill the first 50,000 victims, and only 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Africa

A man disinfects his hands before entering a school in Johannesburg

Experts fear South Africa's true caseload is much higher than the official figure of 1 million

South Africa's coronavirus deaths have crossed the 10,000 mark, accounting for over half of the total number of confirmed cases reported across the African continent. 

"The peak is here, the peak is where we are," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said during an inspection of hospitals on Saturday.

With 553,188 confirmed cases of the virus, the country has the world's fifth-largest coronavirus caseload, behind the US, Brazil, India and Russia. 

While Africa has just over 1 million confirmed infections, experts say that the number could be several times higher.

Asia

In India, a fire killed 11 coronavirus patients early Sunday in the city of Vijayawada. The fire broke out at a hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility.

At least 22 people were brought to hospital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter.

In Japan, the 75th anniversary of the US nuclear attack on the south-western city of Nagasaki was marked at a scaled-back event due to the pandemic. Only 500 people were allowed to attend, compared to 5,900 last year.

Read more: Japan marks 75th anniversary of Nagasaki atomic bombing

Europe

German Economy Minister Altmaier's comments that the country is seeing an "alarming" rise in coronavirus cases came after Germany recorded more than 1,000 cases per day for three days in a row earlier in the week. Sunday saw 555 new cases, but health authorities are often slower to report new cases over the weekend.

"We need to flatten the curve and turn this around," he told the Funke media group. "This is about the health of everyone, the return of children to schools and our economy's success," he said. "We have to avoid a second lockdown with all our might."

Schools in the capital of Berlin and the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia are due to return full-time on Monday.

Read more: Germany closes two schools due to fresh coronavirus outbreaks

Oceania

New Zealand has marked 100 days with no community transmission, the director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said on Sunday.

"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand," he said, warning against complacency.

The country recorded its first case on February 26 and the last infection related to community transmission was detected on May 1. New Zealand has 23 active cases of the virus but all of these were detected at the border.

Catch up on the best DW coronavirus content of the day

Compulsory testing for people arriving in Germany from coronavirus risk areas came into force on Saturday, with the list of risk areas updated every day by the Robert Koch Institute disease control agency.

Read moreGermany's mandatory coronavirus testing at airports off to smooth start

French authorities have mandated that Parisians wear face masks in crowded areas and tourist hotspots as coronavirus infections once again surge in the region.

Masks will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over "in certain very crowded zones," according to a police statement.

Read more: Paris imposes mandatory face masks amid rising infections

ed, see, kbd,dj/dr (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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