The World of International Organizations

Global coronavirus cases top 6 million

A hand washing station in downtown Minneapolis (AN/Chad Davis)

Cases of COVID-19 surpassed 6 million worldwide on Sunday accompanied by 367,000 deaths including an increasing toll in Latin America, according to Johns Hopkins University and Google data trackers.

The speed at which the world added another 1 million cases accelerated. The world crossed the 5 million mark on May 21, just 10 days ago. Before then, the 4 million and 3 million thresholds were each reached within 12 days.

In Latin America, where there were 50,000 deaths, nations such as Brazil and Mexico increasingly grappled with the disease. Brazil had almost 500,000 cases and nearly 30,000 deaths, the second-most number of cases behind only the United States, with more than 1.7 million cases and 103,000 deaths.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been pushing for his nation to reopen, saying the economic damage from the lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of the disease will be far worse than the health risks. He has criticized mayors and governors for lockdowns that demonstrate a “tyranny of total quarantine.”

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told a meeting on development financing that societies are in turmoil and economies are in freefall as COVID-19 takes an unprecedented human toll.

He recommended helping developing nations through multilateral efforts by making credit more readily available, preventing debt crises, enlisting private finance, ending illicit financial flows, improved rebuilding and aligning with the U.N.’s 17 anti-poverty Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

“This pandemic has revealed our global fragility. But fragility extends far beyond health systems,” he said in a statement. “It is time for a new humility in the face of existential threats. In the recovery from COVID-19, we need visionary leadership based on unity and solidarity. Returning to the old, discredited frameworks and systems that created this fragility is out of the question. We must build back better.”

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