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May 30, 2020, 11:59 a.m. EDT

Coronavirus update: Global death toll tops 365,000 as Brazil, Mexico and Peru record spikes in new cases

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By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch


Getty Images
A health-care worker on the job in Peru.

The global death toll from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 365,000 on Saturday, as Brazil, Peru and Mexico all reported spikes in infections, while President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the U.S. out of the World Health Organization.

Brazil has suffered big increases in infections for days now and its death toll has passed that of early hot spot Spain, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry. Peru and Mexico have also seen steep rises in the past few days, with Mexico’s case toll now exceeding that of China, where the illness was first reported late last year.

South Korea has closed more than 200 schools that had reopened Wednesday, after recording 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the Guardian reported. South Korea was widely praised for its initial response to the pandemic, implementing a robust testing-and-tracing program that appeared to have succeeded in containing the disease’s spread. Officials have been working to trace a cluster of infections in Seoul that appeared to have come from nightclubs. The country is now postponing the reopening of a further 800 schools.

In the U.S., Trump said he is terminating his country’s membership of the WHO, which is working to support global efforts to develop a vaccine and treatments for the virus. Trump had previously threatened to pull funding for the agency. He made the announcement at a very brief press conference, blaming the WHO for allying with China and failing to act quickly enough to contain the virus. He did not take any questions from reporters and he did not reference Minneapolis, where protests have raged for days since the killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer.

Elsewhere, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control issued a set of guidelines for employers as workers prepare to return to offices. The CDC is recommending that companies continue to let workers socially distance by seating them at least six feet apart and erecting plastic or plexiglass shields around them.

Workers should have their temperature taken on arrival at work along with a quick check for any coronavirus-type symptoms, the guidelines recommend. Workers should be encouraged to make their own way to work and avoid public transport. Where possible, workers should wear face masks, along with any guests or visitors.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that allows store owners to deny entry to people who refuse to wear a face mask. Public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, has advised Americans to wear face masks in situations where social distancing is impossible, as a way to protect themselves and their fellow citizens from being infected.

Read now: Phase 1 of New York City reopening could send up to 400,000 employees back to work

The face-mask issue has been caught up in the culture wars currently being waged in a divided U.S., with some companies actually banning mask wearers from entering their premises. The Washington Post reported on a Kentucky gas station where nobody is allowed to enter the adjoining convenience store while wearing a mask, a flooring store near Los Angeles that is encouraging handshakes and hugs while banning face coverings, and a campground in rural Wisconsin that has pledged to treat customers in masks as if they were robbers.

All 50 U.S. states are in the process of reopening and lifting restrictions on movement, with Illinois on Friday allowing businesses including barbers and hair salons to open, along with restaurants that can offer outdoor seating.

For more, see: States reopen after coronavirus lockdowns: Illinois loosens on Friday, Nevada casinos on June 4

Latest tallies

There are now 5.97 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and 365,796 people have died, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.5 million people have recovered.

The U.S. has the highest case toll in the world at 1.75 million and the highest death toll at 102,900.

Brazil has 465,166 cases after another spike overnight, and 27,878 fatalities, while Russia has 396,575 cases and 4,555 fatalities.

The U.K. has 272,615 cases and 38,243 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe and second highest in the world after the U.S.

Spain has 238,564 cases and 27,121 deaths, while Italy has 232,248 cases and 33,229 deaths. France has 186,924 cases and 28,717 deaths, while Germany has 183,125 cases and 8,527 deaths.

India has 175,957 cases and 4,996 deaths, followed by Turkey with 162,120 cases and 4,489 deaths. Iran has 148,950 cases and 7,734 deaths.

Read: Why virus stocks are driving market volatility

Peru has 148,285 cases and 4,230 deaths.

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