WASHINGTON: Coronavirus tightened its grip on South America, which is outpacing Europe and the United States in daily infections, reports AFP.
Global cases have surged to nearly 5.7 million, with more than 354,000 deaths, and in a grim signal to other countries hoping to exit lockdown, South Korea re-imposed social distancing rules after a spike in new cases. Deaths in Brazil topped 25,000 on Wednesday, and its caseload is second only to the United States, where authorities have moved to ease lockdowns and help the battered economy, despite experts recommending they remain on guard for a resurgence of the disease."Don't start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that's really tempting fate and asking for trouble," Anthony Fauci, one of the top US health advisers, told CNN.
Nearly 1.7 million Americans are known to have been infected with the disease, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
Lockdowns in some form will remain necessary until a vaccine or treatment is available, experts have warned, but many governments are under immense pressure to provide relief as businesses and citizens grow weary and resentful of mass confinement.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right president and a Trump ally, has slammed stay-at-home orders and played down the threat of the virus, saying the economic fallout of lockdowns causes more damage than the disease itself.
But infections in Brazil have surged past 411,000, and similar bad news continues to emerge from other South American countries.Worried relatives outside the Sabogal Hospital in the capital Lima were unable to enter to see loved ones suffering from COVID-19, with some begging the guards for information.