MIAMI – The Sao Paulo City Hall announced on Thursday that it will dig 13,000 new graves in municipal cemeteries and prohibit funerals for COVID-19 victims starting next Saturday, among other measures, to prevent the collapse of the city’s funeral businesses due to the pandemic.
The city is the epicenter of the virus in Brazil, with 11,225 confirmed cases and 912 deaths so far.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Health Ministry reported 407 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 3,313 so far, while the number of confirmed cases rose to 49,492.
In other news related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
TURKEY: Turkey confirmed 3,116 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total official number of cases so far to 101,790, the Health Ministry reported on its Twitter account. So far, 2,491 people have died in Turkey as a result of the pandemic.
COLOMBIA: The Colombian Health Ministry said on Thursday that a total of 4,561 confirmed coronavirus cases have been detected and 215 people have died. The capital of Bogota and central Meta province are the sites that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
ECUADOR: Ecuador doubled its confirmed number of coronavirus cases to 22,160 on Thursday as thousands of COVID-19 test results that had been delayed were finally made public, Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos said at a press conference.
ARGENTINA: Argentine President Alberto Fernandez met on Thursday with the committee of expert physicians and scientists advising him during the coronavirus pandemic to study requests to open different sectors of the economy, government officials told EFE.
PERU: The Peruvian government extended until May 10 the movement restrictions imposed on the public, which were to have been lifted next Sunday, and announced economic support for 6.8 million families to help them deal with the health emergency. President Martin Vizcarra said that 20,914 virus cases have been confirmed so far and 572 people have died.
CUBA: Cuban health authorities said on Thursday that there have been no outbreaks or cases of COVID-19 in the island’s prisons, although human rights groups are calling for the release of prisoners and an end to the persecution of members of the opposition given what they say is the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus while in state custody.
SPORTS: The German Bundesliga has proposed its two top football leagues resume behind closed doors on May 9, although lawmakers will have the final say on whether that goes ahead.
ITALY: Authorities in Italy said 464 coronavirus patients had died overnight, bringing the total to 25,549 since the outbreak began.
UNITED KINGDOM: There were a further 616 coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals across the UK and 4,583 new cases, authorities said. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said a team of 18,000 people would be put in charge of tracing infections in a bid to prevent a second wave of COVID-19.
ENTERTAINMENT: The Beatles have invited Youtube spectators to take part in a worldwide karaoke this weekend as a distraction from the pandemic. Ringo Starr said it was a way to bring together people who missed singing together.
PORTUGAL: Authorities reported 35 new deaths, bringing the total to 820, as the number of confirmed cases rose 1.7 percent to 22,353 and the government prepared to test 1,700 as a population sample.
WHO: The World Health Organization said over 50 percent of the roughly 110,000 coronavirus-related in Europe took place in care facilities such as residences for older people. Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO’s Europe director, said: “We must do all we can to ensure those workers have personal protective equipment and other essential supplies to protect themselves and those they care for.”
INDONESIA: The country announced 283 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 7,418. It registered 19 more deaths, with the toll now at 635. Some 913 people have been discharged from hospital, 71 of them on Thursday.
SOUTH KOREA: South Korea reported eight new coronavirus cases (four imported), bringing the total to 10,702, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which added two new deaths for a total of 240, while 134 new patients were discharged for a total of 8,411. The overall fatality rate is now 2.24 percent, but 23.5 percent for patients over 80 years of age.
THAILAND: Health authorities confirmed 13 new cases for a total of 2,839 with one death for a total of 50 and 78 more people discharged from hospital for a total of 2,430.
VIETNAM: Authorities announced no new case for a week on Thursday, for a total of 268 cases, with just 45 of those “active.” Just under 30 percent (160) are imported cases, while 223 patients have been discharged from hospitals.
CHINA: There were 10 new cases of coronavirus recorded in China on Wednesday, six of them from abroad, for a total of 82,798, and no new deaths to stand at 4,632, with 77,207 patients discharged (up 56), the National Health Commission reported Thursday.