LIVE: US experts forecast 300,000 coronavirus deaths by December

  • Facebook and Twitter pulled posts by US President Donald Trump for violating their COVID-19 misinformation rules.

  • The Philippines overtook neighbouring Indonesia as the country with the highest number of COVID-19 infections in East Asia.
  • More than 18.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the global death toll surpassed 712,000 people. More than 11.5 million have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, August 7

01:29 GMT – University of Washington forecasts 300,000 deaths in US

Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by December 1, according to a forecast by health experts at the University of Washington, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks.

“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States. It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down,” said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. 

The US death toll stands at over 159,000, the most of any country in the world, with 4.8 million known cases.

Millions in US face eviction amid COVID-19 crisis (2:28)

01:08 GMT – Mexico’s death toll tops 50,000

Mexico’s health ministry reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 fatalities, bringing the country’s totals to 462,690 infections and 50,517 deaths.

Mexico has now the third highest death toll in the world, after Brazil, which is approaching 100,000, and the United States, which is approaching 160,000.

00:39 GMT – Brazil to set aside $356m for vaccine

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree to provide 1.9 billion reais ($356m) in funds to purchase and eventually produce a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University researchers.

Brazil’s Acting Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello said the vaccine could be available for Brazilians by December or January.

“January is the best bet. The vaccine is the solution to end the pandemic,” he said, adding that Brazil would initially receive 100 million doses, which would allow for the vaccination of half the country’s population, and then produce the vaccine locally.

WHO COVID Debrief on global coronavirus vaccine efforts (4:08)

00:22 GMT – US lifts global health coronavirus travel advisory

The US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted global advisories recommending US citizens avoid all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, and instead issued a raft of high-level warnings for individual countries.

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice,” the State Department said in a statement lifting its “Do Not Travel” advisory.

The CDC also dropped its global advisory recommending against all nonessential international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but nearly all countries remain on its highest Level 3 advisory to avoid all non-essential travel.

A few countries, including Thailand, New Zealand and Fiji, were put on a low risk Level 1 advisory.

Facebook, Twitter pull Trump posts over COVID-19 misinformation (3:24)

00:12 GMT – London Marathon to feature only elite runners

The pandemic-delayed London Marathon will be staged on October 4 using a different route than usual and with only elite runners participating.

Rather than starting in Greenwich in east London, there will be a looped 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) course featuring 19.8 laps around St James’s Park within a biosecure bubble with spectators excluded. It will finish in the traditional place in front of Buckingham Palace.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” said Hugh Brasher, event director of the London Marathon.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

For key developments from yesterday, August 6, go here

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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