Washington: The global surge in coronavirus infections on Wednesday forced some countries to stop reopening or impose new restrictions on their weary population.
Since the virus appeared in China at the end of last year, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has exceeded 13.4 million, and reported deaths have exceeded 581,000.
The situation in the United States is expected to deteriorate further. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said it will require customers to wear masks in all of its stores to prevent the virus from spreading.
Four days after Venezuela announced the relaxation of restrictions, it became the latest country to implement localized blockade measures, including the “radical quarantine” of the capital Caracas. The La Paz department of Bolivia said it will conduct a four-day comprehensive quarantine.
In Latin America, the death toll was as high as 150,000 on Wednesday, making it the world’s second-largest disaster zone after Europe, where 203,793 people died.
Brazil accounts for about half of the deaths in Latin America, with more than 1,200 new deaths recorded on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths since the outbreak to 75366.
In Ireland, Prime Minister Micheal Martin postponed the end of the blockade due to a surge in new cases, restrictions continued until August 10, and the government also requested that masks be worn in stores.
At the same time, the United States set a new record on Wednesday, registering more than 67,000 cases in the past 24 hours.
The country’s death toll is the highest in the world, with more than 137,000 deaths, and officials are scrambling to withdraw the reopening aimed at reviving the economy.