More than four million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.The region passed the bleak milestone as Brazil reported a daily record of 67,860 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.Latin America is one of the hardest-hit regions in the world, with 4,040,925 recorded cases and 172,886 people killed by COVID-19. Mexico’s death toll has surged to become the fourth-highest in the world, at 40,400.The country surpassed Italy on Sunday, and now has more victims than anywhere but the United States, Brazil and Britain.Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 15 million people and killed nearly 625,000 since it emerged in China late last year.Brazil in particular has struggled to set a strategy for responding to the pandemic.President Jair Bolsonaro faces criticism for downplaying the virus and attacking social distancing measures adopted by state and local authorities.The far-right leader, who has regularly hit the streets mask-less for rallies by his supporters, has been in quarantine at the presidential palace since July 7 after contracting the virus himself.His office announced Wednesday he had again tested positive, saying he would continue his quarantine and suspend his upcoming travel plans.Bolsonaro, 65, argues the economic fallout from stay-at-home measures could be worse than the virus itself, and is instead pushing the unproven malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as remedies, following in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump.Margareth Dalcomo, an expert at Brazil’s leading public-health institute, Fiocruz, said Bolsonaro’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing was “deplorable.””This politicization of the drug by the US and Brazilian presidents for murky reasons has no justification, and it deceives people,” she told AFP.”It has been proven this drug has no effect against COVID-19.”Bolsonaro is on his third health minister since the pandemic reached Brazil five months ago, after falling out with two doctors who previously held the post over their recommendations on containing the virus.The current minister, an interim, is Eduardo Pazuello, an army general with no prior medical experience.The World Health Organization voiced optimism last week that the outbreak in Brazil had finally reached a plateau, urging the country to use the opportunity to “take control.”But though the level of daily infections and deaths has stabilized, it remains high.The country has recorded an average of more than 37,000 infections and 1,050 deaths a day over the past week. Topics : That is the highest caseload of any region except North America, and the highest death toll of any region except Europe.Brazil alone has registered 2.2 million cases and 82,771 deaths, the second-biggest outbreak in the world after the United States.Although many Latin American countries have begun relaxing stay-at-home measures, the virus is still spreading quickly across much of the region.Peru, Mexico and Chile are also on the list of the top 10 countries by total cases, with well over 300,000 each.
Published on February 7, 2014 at 12:25 am Facebook Twitter Google+ In a less than arousing college basketball weekend there’s still, as always, a fair share of story lines presented by Saturday’s slate.Wichita State will probably continue its undefeated season. Steve Fisher will continue to coach in a time machine. And someone on Kansas is going to baptize someone on West Virginia.After that, treat yourself to some average basketball and bank on next week being a little more exciting.No. 15 Texas at Kansas State, 1:30 p.m., ESPN3It’s an underwhelming weekend of college basketball when a Big 12 matchup featuring an unranked team sneaks its way into the top games. The Longhorns (18-4, 7-2 Big 12) are white hot in conference play, winning their last seven games including four against ranked opponents. Texas recently met Kansas State (15-7, 5-4) on Jan. 21 and beat the then-No. 22 Wildcats 67-64. Don’t expect this one to be as close as that, as the Longhorns are hitting their stride with a formidable combination of staunch rebounding and up-tempo offense.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 10 Michigan at No. 17 Iowa, 2 p.m., ESPNMichigan (17-5, 9-1 Big Ten) was brought back down to earth by Indiana last Sunday, after starting 8-0 in the Big Ten. Then the Wolverines got back on track with a blowout win over Nebraska this week and will look to feast on a stumbling Hawkeyes (17-6, 6-4) squad. Iowa has lost three of its last five games — one of which was against Michigan two weeks ago. The Hawkeyes will have a chance if they slow down play in the half court, but if the Wolverines outshoot them, Nik Stauskas, Glen Robinson III and Caris LeVert will catapult the visiting team to a win.West Virginia at No. 8 Kansas, 4 p.m., ESPNKansas (17-5, 8-1 Big 12) dropped its first conference game to Texas last weekend but hung on to its Top 10 spot. West Virginia (14-9, 6-4) has been shaky since the start of conference play — relying heavily on the scoring duo of Juwan Staten and Eron Harris — and will have to have a lot of things go its way to stick in this one. With Kansas, it really comes down to which Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr. show up. They’re all going to get their shots, and if they’re hitting, the Jayhawks effortlessly put teams away.Baylor at No. 21 Oklahoma, 7 p.m., ESPN2After starting conference play with some signature wins, Oklahoma (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) has sputtered out with two straight losses. The buck doesn’t stop on Saturday against Baylor (14-8, 2-7), a team itching to prove its worth after a miserable start to its league slate. The Bears currently sit ninth in the conference and need to start getting more production out of sophomore Isaiah Austin. The Sooners are a good team for Austin to get back on track against, as they struggle against big men who can stretch the floor.No. 23 Gonzaga at No. 24 Memphis, 9 p.m., ESPNI hate reverting to the mid-major spiel, but Gonzaga is making it easy this year. Sure, the Bulldogs (21-3, 11-1 West Coast) are nearly untouched in conference play, but have played too many close games against far inferior opponents and therefore haven’t earned the pedigree of a Top 25 team. Memphis (17-5, 7-3 American Athletic) is in a prime position to boost its strength of schedule in a game that is so randomly placed in both teams’ conference schedules.Rest of the scheduleAlabama at No. 3 Florida, noon, ESPNNo. 20 Virginia at Georgia Tech, noon, ESPN3Virginia Tech at No. 25 Pittsburgh, noon, ESPN3No. 18 Kentucky at Mississippi State, 1:30 p.m., ESPN3Texas Christian at No. 16 Iowa State, 4 p.m., ESPN3No. 13 Saint Louis at La Salle, 5 p.m., ESPN2No. 11 Duke at Boston College, 6 p.m., ESPNNo. 7 Cincinnati at Southern Methodist, 7:30 p.m., ESPNUNo. 4 Wichita State at Northern Iowa, 9 p.m., ESPN2No. 19 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 9:30 p.m., ESPNUNevada at No. 5 San Diego State, 10 pm., ESPN3– compiled by Jesse Dougherty, asst. sports editor, [email protected], dougherty_jesse Comments