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Global virus infections pass 15 mn, as Latin America cases soar

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The number of novel coronavirus infections around the world passed 15 million Wednesday, with Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the hardest-hit regions, notching more than four million cases.


In the United States, home to over a quarter of global infections, President Donald Trump warned that the pandemic was likely to get worse before it gets better.

The US data makes grim reading, with more than 143,000 fatalities and regular daily death tolls of more than 1,000.

Trump has been a critic of lockdown measures and has argued in favour of reopening the economy even as death tolls have climbed.


Signs are emerging in other parts of the world that the virus quickly springs back when lockdown measures are lifted.

Australia, Belgium, Hong Kong and Japanese capital Tokyo had all used restrictive measures to successfully beat outbreaks earlier in the pandemic, but all are now facing an upsurge in cases.

Australia and Hong Kong set new daily records for confirmed cases on Wednesday, and Tokyo’s governor urged residents to stay at home during a forthcoming holiday as cases climb.


Belgian officials said people must stick to social-distancing guidelines to halt a “snowball effect before it provokes a new avalanche”.

South Africa’s decision to ban the sale of alcohol and enforce a curfew continued to cause anguish, even as the country recorded a record-breaking 24-hour death toll of 572 fatalities.

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