Globally, coronavirus cases have now topped 16.2 million. Last week, the worldwide caseload jumped by 1 million in just four days. As European nations scramble to prevent a second wave of infections, Britain has reinstated a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from Spain.
North Korea has locked down a city bordering South Korea and declared a national emergency as the first suspected case of COVID-19 was announced, though outside observers say North Korea may have already had unidentified or unreported cases.
In the Philippines, thousands of people packed a stadium in the capital Manila over the weekend as they awaited mandatory COVID-19 testing before being allowed to return to their hometowns, after many lost their jobs during the lockdown. Unemployment in the Philippines has surged to over 17% since the start of the pandemic.
Latin America remains one of the worst-hit regions. In Costa Rica, hundreds of Nicaraguans have been stuck at the border after authorities shut down entry into Nicaragua for anyone who is unable to present a negative COVID-19 test, including their own citizens. In Mexico, the health minister of the northern state of Chihuahua has died from COVID-19. In Brazil, the second-most-affected country with 2.4 million cases, New Year’s Eve festivities in Rio de Janeiro have been canceled. The event draws up to 3 million people each year. In Bolivia, where coronavirus cases are still surging, election officials delayed the presidential election for the second time this year, citing the pandemic. Former President Evo Morales was ousted last year and replaced by right-wing interim President Jeanine Áñez.
The World Health Organization warned last week COVID-19 is taking a major toll on healthcare professionals across Africa. Over 10,000 health workers across 40 African countries have been infected. Morocco has locked down major cities, including Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez, as recent spikes have been reported across the country.