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7 Coronavirus Updates You Should Read Today

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340 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Nigeria on Friday, August 21.

According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Kaduna recorded 63 new cases which are the highest for the day. Other states with new cases include FCT-51, Plateau-38, Lagos-33, Delta-25, Gombe-21, Adamawa-21, Edo-20, Katsina-17, Akwa Ibom-11, Ekiti-10, Rivers-9, Ondo-5, Ebonyi-4, Cross River-3, Ogun-3, Sokoto-2, Imo-2 and Nasarawa-2

Nigeria now has 51,304 confirmed cases.

37,885 patients have been discharged and 996 deaths have been recorded.


South Africa’s coronavirus cases surpass 600,000

The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa surged past 600,000 Friday, according to the country’s Department of Health. South Africa recorded 3,398 new cases to take its total to 603,338. Its coronavirus death toll stands at 12,843.


Mexico reports nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases

Mexico recorded 5,928 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total number of infections in the country to 549,734. The Mexico health ministry also reported 504 new coronavirus-related deaths — taking its total death toll to 59,610.

Mexico has the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, behind only the US and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU). In terms of coronavirus cases, Mexico is ranked third in Latin America, behind Brazil and Peru, according to JHU.


Brazil reports more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases

On Friday, Brazil’s health ministry reported 30,355 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 3,532,330.

The ministry also reported 1,054 new COVID-19 deaths, raising the country’s death toll to 113,358. Brazil is second only to the United States in the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.


The US surpasses 175,000 coronavirus deaths

More than 175,000 people have died in the United States from the coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 175,204 total deaths and 5,615,998 total cases across the country so far.

US death toll timeline:

Feb. 29 – First death reported
April 23 – 50,000 deaths
May 23 – 100,000 deaths
July 28 – 150,000 deaths


Fighting COVID-19 now is both easier and harder than it was in 1918, WHO says

It’s both easier and more difficult to fight the coronavirus pandemic than it was to battle the 1918 influenza pandemic, World Health Organization officials said Friday, CNN reports.

“With more connectedness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing. “But at the same, we have also technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he added. “We have a disadvantage — globalization, closeness, connectedness — but an advantage of better technology.”

The 1918 flu pandemic took just under two years to pass, Tedros said. He said he hopes to finish this pandemic in “less than two years.”

“It took three waves to infect most of the susceptible individuals, then settled down probably into a seasonal pattern,” Dr Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program. “Very often” a pandemic virus will settle into a seasonal pattern over time, he said.

“But this virus is not displaying a similar wave-like pattern,” Ryan said

Instead of passing in waves that offer respites, coronavirus can be suppressed with strict measures but rebounds quickly, Ryan said. “Clearly, when the disease is not under control, it jumps straight back up,” he said.

But the 1918 flu passed and so will this pandemic, he said. “Human beings are resilient. We are a resilient species and we will get through this,” Ryan said.


WHO will soon issue guidance on masks for children

The World Health Organization and UNICEF will be issuing guidance on the use of masks in children, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said during a Friday briefing.

Van Kerkhove said the guidance will be broken up by age range. The guidance will be for decision-makers and educators “about when and where masks can be used.”

Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program, said: “masks are a great tool” especially in the context of schools. But he warns they should not take the place of other public health measures.

Ryan said getting kids back to school is a “complex equation,” and wearing masks is just one part of it.

“The wearing of masks is not an alternative to social distancing. It’s not an alternative to hand washing. It’s not an alternative to decompressing class sizes. It’s not an alternative to all of the other measures,” he said. “In fact, it would decrease the benefits of masks if people closed the physical distance, don’t wash their hands,” Ryan added.

Van Kerkhove said the guidance should be issued in the coming days, if not sooner.

Star Features