RIO DE JANEIRO－Brazil became the second country in the world to pass the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths on Saturday as the country’s government announced four days of mourning to pay tribute to the country’s million-plus virus victims.
With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 confirmed cases, the country of 212 million people is the second hardest-hit country by the pandemic, after the United States.
Saturday was marked by manifestations of solidarity with the victims’ families and netizens. Many Twitter users marked their messages with the hashtag #100thousanddeaths.
Infections have accelerated in recent weeks in the countryside as well as inland regions and areas where the virus was late arriving, particularly the country’s south and center-west.
In southeastern states such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, hardest-hit by the virus in absolute numbers, the situation has stabilized, while the virus’ presence has declined in northern regions after reaching catastrophic levels in April and May.
The country’s indigenous Amazon populations have also been hard hit, with one of Brazil’s leading chiefs, 71-year-old Aritana Yawalapiti, dying on Wednesday of respiratory complications caused by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 toll continues to rise across the world, with global fatalities having now surpassed 727,000. More than 162,000 of those were in the US, which was on the verge of recording 5 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
India has more than two million infections－its caseload having doubled in three weeks－and had recorded 43,379 deaths as of Sunday. It now has the world’s third-highest pandemic caseload.
India’s infection rate has increased exponentially in recent weeks. It took almost six months for the country to record 1 million cases, another 12 days to reach 1.5 million, and only another nine days to reach 2 million.
Across the country, critically ill virus patients have been turned away from public and private hospitals for lack of beds, staff and equipment. Earlier this month, a state minister died of the virus and three Indian cabinet ministers checked into hospital after testing positive.
The virus has also hit celebrities, including Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, one of India’s most famous actors. The 77-year-old announced on Sunday that he has been discharged from hospital after a three-week stay.
A fire killed 11 coronavirus patients early on Sunday in a southern Indian hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility, officials said, in the second such incident this month.
In South Africa, more than 10,000 people have died from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Saturday, as football resumed following a 145-day coronavirus-induced shutdown.
In Paris, growing infections in and around have prompted officials to make face masks compulsory outdoors in crowded areas and tourist hot spots in the city and surrounding areas from Monday.
The mask will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over “in certain very crowded zones,” said a police statement, including the banks of the Seine River and more than 100 streets in the French capital.