FILE - A patient is moved by health care workers at Maimonides Medical Center, in New York City, amid the coronavirus pandemic, May 6, 2020.
FILE - A patient is moved by health care workers at Maimonides Medical Center, in New York City, amid the coronavirus pandemic, May 6, 2020.

The Associated Press reported Friday that half the COVID-19 deaths in the United States were people of color – Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

An analysis by The Associated Press and The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the criminal justice system, found that while people of color make up just under 40% of the U.S. population, they accounted for approximately 52% of all the “excess deaths" above normal through July. The report defined excess deaths as the number of people above the typical fatality number who died in the United States during the first seven months of 2020, based on figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. has more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country, with 5.6 million infections and more than 175,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.  Brazil has 3.5 million cases and India is approaching the 3 million mark.

There are nearly 23 million global COVID-19 cases and almost 800,000 deaths, Johns Hopkins reported Saturday.

The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan said Friday the scale of the pandemic in Mexico is "under-recognized" and that testing there is limited.

He told a Geneva briefing that Mexico was testing about 3 people per 100,000, compared with about 150 tests per 100,000 people in the United States.

Mexico had nearly 550,000 cases of the virus early Saturday and more than 59,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

South Korea is imposing a nationwide ban on large gatherings, closing churches, nightclubs and beaches. In addition, fans will not be allowed at professional sports events.

A worker disinfects pews at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 21, 2020.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said Saturday the new nationwide restrictions, which begin Sunday, follow nine days of triple digit increases in coronavirus cases. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 332 new cases Saturday. The country has more than 17,000 coronavirus infections and more than 300 deaths.

Several European countries have been reporting new surges of COVID-19 cases.

“There should be no confusion: things are not going well,” Fernando Simón, Spain’s health emergency chief, said this week. “If we continue to allow transmission to rise, even if most cases are mild, we will end up with many in hospital, many in intensive care and many deaths.” The number of COVID-19 cases admitted to hospitals last week in Spain was double the admission numbers from the previous week.

Berlin experienced a COVID-19 outbreak after its schools opened. Hundreds of students and school personnel are now in quarantine.

French schoolchildren are set to return to school even after the country recorded 4,700 new cases Thursday and more than 4,500 Friday.

In Germany, officials warned Friday against travel to the Belgian capital of Brussels because of its high rate of coronavirus infections.

Britain said Friday it plans to start regular, population-wide testing for COVID-19 by the end of the year to help suppress the spread of the virus. The country has the highest death toll in Europe, with more than 41,000 fatalities.

The head of the World Health Organization says he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will end in under two years – less time than it took to stop the 1918 Spanish flu.

Speaking Friday at his regular briefing in Geneva, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the key to stopping the virus is for countries around the world to “pool our efforts.” 

In Brief:

  • Global coronavirus cases near 23 million, deaths are at almost 800,000
  • WHO chief hopes pandemic to end in under two years, less than the 1918 Spanish flu
  • U.S. leads in cases and deaths, with 5.6 million infections, more than 175,000 deaths
  • India nears 3 million cases
  • Mexico had almost 550,000 cases early Saturday, more than 59,000 deaths
  • WHO official says scale of pandemic in Mexico “under-recognized” and testing limited
  • Several European countries reporting new case surges
  • Britain, with Europe’s highest death toll, plans population-wide testing by year end
  • South Korea imposing ban on large gatherings, closing churches, nightclubs, beaches
     

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