Latin America and Caribbean pass eight million virus infections

Latin America and Caribbean pass eight million virus infections

MONTEVIDEO-Agence France-Presse
Latin America and Caribbean pass eight million virus infections

Latin America and the Caribbean on Sept. 10 passed the milestone of eight million cases of Covid-19, days after logging more than 300,000 deaths from the virus, according to an AFP tally of official records.  

The region, which is the worst hit in the world, had 8,035,484 cases as of 2200 GMT on Sept. 10, out of a global total of 28.02 million people infected with the disease.    

The region made up of the United States and Canada has the second largest number of infections worldwide, with 6,504,734 cases. Europe is second to Latin America in the number of deaths, with 220,085 fatalities from the disease.

Brazil is the worst hit country in Latin America, with 4.23 million people infected with Covid-19 and 129,522 dead from the disease.     

Peru holds second place in the number of infections with 702,776 cases, as well as 30,236 dead -- but Mexico holds second place in the number of fatalities in the region, with 69,095 having succumbed to the virus. It has logged 647,507 infections.   

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde says the eurozone's pandemic-induced downturn is expected to be less severe than initially feared, but a recent spike in cases is causing "headwinds" for the recovery.    

"The strength of the recovery remains surrounded by significant uncertainty as it continues to be highly dependent on the future evolution of the pandemic and the success of containment policies," she tells an online news conference.     

The British government announces it is reinstating mainland Portugal and adding Hungary to its coronavirus quarantine list.    

The Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira will be exempted, while Sweden has also been taken off for those arriving in England.            

Six months on since declaring a pandemic, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the new coronavirus is still spreading around the planet due to the gaps between the major players in combatting the disease.    

"Because when solidarity lacks, and when we're divided, that's a very good opportunity for the virus - and that's why it's still spreading. That's what worries me," he tells a virtual news conference.            

The United Nations chief on Thursday calls for an immediate "quantum leap" in funding for global programmes to combat the coronavirus and restore prosperity, saying "either we stand together or we will be doomed".    

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges countries to find $15 billion over the next three months to fund the ACT-Accelerator programme, a global collaboration to hunt for a vaccine and treatments.            

Singapore Airlines says it is cutting about 4,300 jobs - around 20 percent of its workforce, due to the coronavirus.

The city-state's flag carrier says about 1,900 positions have already been eliminated in recent months due to a recruitment freeze, natural attrition and voluntary departures, reducing further expected job cuts to around 2,400.