Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The United States set a record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, with more than 5 million people now infected, as the country’s top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end. With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total. The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.
Here are the latest updates on the pandemic:
• Brazil on Saturday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths and three million cases of infection, according to the latest tally from the Ministry of Health. With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 confirmed cases, the South American country of 212 million people is the second hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, after the United States. The health ministry reported 905 new deaths in the past 24 hours, as well as 49,970 new cases. But the official figures are most likely an undercount, with experts estimating that the total number of infections could be up to six times higher due to insufficient testing.
• President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive actions extending financial relief to Americans hit by the coronavirus pandemic as polls showed a large majority of voters unhappy with his handling of the crisis. The four measures marked a presidential show of strength after Trump’s Republican party and White House team failed to agree with opposition Democrats in Congress on a new stimulus package aimed at stopping vulnerable Americans from falling through the cracks. “We’ve had it and we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers,” Trump said at a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was spending the weekend.
• Parisians and holidaymakers strolling along the banks of the River Seine or browsing open-air markets in Paris must wear a face mask from Monday after authorities imposed new measures to curb a rise in coronavirus infections. The order, which applies to people aged 11 and over, covers busy outdoor areas in the French capital, although tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not listed. Data showed the virus had begun circulating more widely in Paris and its lower-income suburbs since mid-July. The rate of positive tests in the greater Paris region now stood at 2.4% compared with a national average of 1.6%, it said.