Brazil coronavirus toll now world’s second highest: Live updates

  • Brazil became the country with the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world with 41,828 fatalities, surpassing Britain’s and second only to the United States.

  • The British economy has dwindled 25 percent over March and April as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, dwarfing previous downturns.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said pandemic puts women at “heightened risk” of dying in childbirth.

  • More than 7.6 million people have now been confirmed to have the coronavirus and at least 424,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, June 13

02:50 GMT – France to open borders to non-Schengen countries from July 1  

France will gradually reopen its borders to countries outside the Schengen zone from July 1, the interior and foreign ministers said in a statement.  

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said France’s reopening would be in harmony with the rest of the European Union, which has recommended that the bloc reopen to some countries in the Balkans from July 1.

Travellers in cars and scooters cross the French-Italian border near Menton on June 3, 2020 after Italy reopened its frontiers with Europe [Valery Hache/ AFP]

“This opening will be gradual and will vary according to the health situation in each of the third countries, and in accordance with the arrangements that will have been agreed at European level by then,” the ministers said.    

Castaner and Le Drian confirmed that France would also lift all border restrictions with other Schengen countries from June 15.

02:42 GMT – South Africa sees biggest one-day rise in cases              

South Africa saw its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases, recording 3,359 infections on Friday. 

A health ministry update said South Africa now has more than 61,9270 cases, or well over a quarter of the cases across the African continent, including 1,354 deaths.

Nearly two-thirds of South Africa’s cases are in the Western Cape province centered on the city of Cape Town, where the World Health Organization’s Africa chief has said the trend “seems to be similar to what was happening in Europe and in the US”.

02:29 GMT – Mexico prepares to reopen despite record cases

Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, said the Mexican capital will lift restrictions on car traffic and public transport next week, and allow 340,000 factory works to get back to work under strict sanitary conditions.

Sheinbaum said that street markets, malls, restaurants and churches could reopen a week later, but at reduced capacity.

The announcement came as the health ministry reported a record 5,222 new confirmed infections, along with 504 new deaths. Total confirmed cases now number 139,196 and total deaths are at almost 16,450. Both are considered substantial undercounts due to very limited testing.






Inside a Mexican intensive care unit battling COVID-19 (3:42)

Separately, the federal government announced that starting on Monday, half of Mexico’s 32 states can start limited re-openings of hotels and restaurants and broader re-openings of markets.

The states to re-open are those that have falling rates of coronavirus hospitalizations, lower rates of infection and acceptable ratios of available hospital beds.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been eager to reactivate the economy, which has shed nearly 1 million formal jobs and is forecast to contract 8.8 percent this year.

“We don’t think there are going to be new outbreaks,” the president said on Friday. “We have to be careful that this doesn’t happen, and open little by little with health measures, health protocols, and if we see a new outbreak somewhere, return to confinement – everything voluntarily.”

01:59 GMT – Egypt registers highest daily rise in cases in nearly two weeks

Egypt confirmed 1,577 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest daily increase in almost two weeks.

In total, the Arab world’s most populous country has registered 41,303 cases including 1,422 deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.

The country is planning to open its seaside resorts to international flights and foreign tourists on July 1. 

A man rides a motorcycle with his family in Cairo

A man rides a motorcycle with his family next to a wall with pharaonic images in Cairo, Egypt on June 4, 2020 [Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ Reuters]

01:39 GMT – Brazil court orders JBS meat plant closed for testing

A Brazilian labor court ordered the closure of a chicken plant owned by the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul for 14 days while the company’s workforce is tested for COVID-19.

The court upheld an injunction sought by state health authorities ordering all workers to immediately leave the plant located in Trindade do Sul so that they can be in isolation for two weeks and be tested at the company’s expense.

JBS did not have any immediate comment on the court order.

01:31 GMT – Masks significantly reduce infection risk, says new study

Requiring the wearing of masks in areas at the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic may have prevented tens of thousands of infections, a new study suggests.

Mask-wearing is even more important for preventing the virus’ spread and the sometimes deadly COVID-19 illness it causes than social distancing and stay-at-home orders, researchers said, in the study published in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.






Musicians perform a virtual gala in COVID-19 lockdown (2:50)

Infection trends shifted dramatically when mask-wearing rules were implemented on April 6 in northern Italy and April 17 in New York City – at the time among the hardest hit areas of the world by the health crisis – the study found.

“This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of infections, that is, by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9,” researchers calculated.

01:12 GMT – Somalia’s al-Shabab sets up virus treatment centre

Somalia’s al-Shabab group said they had set up a COVID-19 treatment centre in the country, and said the disease posed a grave threat, citing international health authorities.

“Al-Shabab’s corona(virus) prevention and treatment committee has opened a COVID-19 centre,” the group said in a broadcast on their radio Andalus, adding the centre had been set up in Jilib, about 380 kilometres (236 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu.

“International health organisations said COVID-19 is terribly spreading in countries of Africa continent.”

For more than a decade the group has been fighting to topple the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed central government and establish its own government based on its own interpretation of Islamic law.

00:18 GMT – Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll passes Britain’s

Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll has overtaken Britain’s to become the second highest in the world after the United States, according to numbers released by the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Brazil reported a total of 828,810 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 25,982 new infections in the last 24 hours, and another 909 fatalities, raising the death toll to 41,828, the Health Ministry said.

Of the total cases of COVID-19, 365,063 have recovered, the ministry said.






COVID-19 spreading fast among Brazil’s Indigenous tribes (2:51)

00:10 GMT – Botswana reinstates strict lockdown in Gabrone

Botswana has brought back a strict coronavirus lockdown in its capital city and surrounding areas after recording 12 new cases of the virus – four imported cases at its borders and eight at a private hospital in Gabrone.

The southern African nation ended a 48-day national coronavirus lockdown late last month, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under controls, but its borders are still closed apart from for returning citizens and imports of essential goods.

Announcing the new lockdown measures, Malaki Tshipayagae, the country’s director of health services, said authorities were trying to determine if the Gabrone hospital cases were locally transmitted.

“From midnight today the greater Gaborone area will revert to extreme social distancing until further notice, where only essential services will be allowed to operate,” he said in a televised announcement.

The new cases bring Botswana’s cumulative cases to 60. Prior to Friday’s cases, Botswana only had one active case of the coronavirus. It has recorded only one coronavirus death.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.

You can find all the developments from yesterday, June 12, here.

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