Brazil and Mexico reported record daily coronavirus death tolls as governments in South America battled to fortify defences against the pandemic with fresh lockdown orders and curfews.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that at least 100,000 infections were officially reported worldwide for each of the last five days, adding the Americas bore much of the brunt.

Mexico on Wednesday announced more than 1,000 deaths in a day for the first time, while Brazil reported a record 1,349 daily deaths.

The clinical trial for a vaccine conducted by experts at the University of Oxford will soon recruit 2,000 volunteers in Brazil The university said that on Tuesday, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency approved the inclusion of Brazil in the clinical trials.

Scientists are resuming Covid-19 trials of the now world-famous drug hydroxychloroquine, as confusion continues to reign about the anti-malarial hailed by US President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” in fighting the pandemic. It follows widespread criticism of the quality of data in a study in The Lancet which found high risks associated with the treatment.

Covid-19 continued to take a toll on US jobs, with another 1.9 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits, taking the number of those rendered jobless by the pandemic to cross 42 million. Layoffs have slowed down from the peak of 6.6 million in April, as all the 50 states have reopened.


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