Mexico on Sunday became the country with the fourth highest death toll from Covid-19, ahead of Italy, according Mexican health officials and AFP's global tallies.
"There are 299,750 confirmed cases of infection and 35,006 deaths in Mexico," health officials said on the presidency's Twitter account. Italy currently has 34,954 fatalities from the coronavirus.
Spanish court suspends lockdown of virus-hit Catalonia area
A local court on Monday suspended a home confinement order imposed on over 200,000 people in the Spanish region of Catalonia after an upsurge in virus cases.
"The Lerida district court has decided not to ratify the measures of the 12 July resolution," the Catalan supreme court said on its Twitter account. The decision, which suspends the stay-at-home order, can be appealed.
Concern over new Sydney cluster as Australia virus cases surge
Sydney residents were warned Monday to put the brakes on partying as a new coronavirus cluster emerged at a city pub on the heels of a major outbreak in Melbourne.
Three pubs in Sydney and its surrounds were closed after being linked to outbreaks or failing to comply with social distancing requirements, while other events were under investigation with Australia on edge over a resurgence of the virus.
The new cluster emerged after Melbourne entered a six-week lockdown on Thursday, and surrounding Victoria state was sealed off from the rest of the country in an effort to contain the virus.
Authorities reported 177 new infections in and around Melbourne Monday, marking a week of triple-digit increases.
New South Wales police assistant commissioner Tony Cooke on Monday slammed the "moronic behaviour of people at dance parties", after local media published footage of large private get-togethers in Sydney's wealthy eastern suburbs.
City residents are allowed a maximum of 20 visitors to their homes under restrictions which have been gradually eased in recent weeks as the number of infections dwindled.
At least 21 infections have now been linked to a growing cluster at Sydney's Crossroads Hotel - a popular drinking spot on a major traffic route - raising concern the virus could be spreading in the state.
Argentina passes 100,000 Covid-19 cases
Argentina has registered more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases, its Ministry of Health said Sunday, despite the Buenos Aires area - the country's coronavirus hot spot - being under extended shutdown.
The country now has recorded 1,845 deaths from the pandemic with 100,153 positive cases and almost 43,000 people recovered.
The shutdown in the Buenos Aires area, the most populated region of the country, is due to end on Friday.
Authorities are still debating what restrictions will remain in place, though the reopening of some shops and permits to run in parks are expected.
Crisis-wracked Argentina has been in recession since 2018 and has been further rocked by the coronavirus outbreak. The International Monetary Fund predicts its economy will shrink by almost 10 percent this year.
Latin America is struggling to quell the virus, with Brazil the second hardest-hit country in the world recording over 70,000 deaths.
Bolivian economy minister becomes fourth cabinet member with Covid-19
Bolivia's economy minister said Sunday that he tested positive for Covid-19, making him the fourth cabinet member with the virus, in addition to the country's interim president who is in quarantine.
Economy Minister Oscar Ortiz joins the ranks of the ministers of health and mining, in addition to Anez's chief of staff, all of whom are COVID-positive.
Ortiz, who was named the country's new economy minister on Tuesday, released a video clip in which he said doctors admitted him to the hospital so his symptoms could be monitored.
Interim President Jeanine Anez has been at home in quarantine since she announced her positive test Thursday. Her doctor has said she is asymptomatic.
"I send all my support to @OscarOrtizA," Anez tweeted, wishing him a quick recovery.
Other high-ranking Bolivian authorities such as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the president of the country's central bank have also contracted the virus.
Hong Kong postpones annual book fair
Organisers of Hong Kong's annual book fair have postponed the event just two days before it was due to start, as the city grapples with a third wave of coronavirus infections.
The book fair, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, will be rescheduled. Hong Kong has seen a spike in the number of locally transmitted cases, prompting a suspension of all schools and tightened social-distancing measures.
The city reported 30 new local infections on Sunday. So far, Hong Kong has reported 1,470 infections and seven deaths.
Japan hospitals cut staff bonuses as coronavirus drives them into the red
About a third of Japanese medical institutions are cutting summer bonuses to staff, a trade union said on Monday, as many hospitals and clinics face a cash crunch, having had to delay routine treatments to make room for coronavirus patients.
The Japan Federation of Medical Worker's Unions said that out of 338 organisations surveyed 115 were planning to cut bonuses below last year's levels.
Tough working conditions along with pay reductions could persuade more medical staff to retire early, said Kenichi Igarashi, an executive committee member of the union.
Although serious Covid-19 cases have abated, the epidemic brought Japan's medical system to the brink of collapse in April and May, as patients filled intensive care units and hospitals dealt with internal outbreaks.
"Hospitals that take in Covid-19 patients are especially hard hit financially, which is truly a sad thing," said Fumie Sakamoto, the infection control manager at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo. "The future doesn't look bright, especially in Tokyo since the number of new cases are on the rise again."
Two thirds of all hospitals in Japan are now operating in financial deficit, according to a Japan Hospital Association paper last month. The figure is 90% among institutions taking in coronavirus patients in Tokyo, where new daily infections have shot up to more than 200 in recent days.
South Africa reimposes nationwide curfew as cases surge
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country faced a "coronavirus storm" that was "far fiercer and more destructive than any we have known before" as he re-imposed a night-time curfew and also a ban on alcohol sales barely six weeks after buying booze had become legal again.
"As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related injuries," Ramaphosa said.
New coronavirus infections have topped 12,000 per day - or 500 per hour - in South Africa in recent days, making it the fourth-biggest contributor to new worldwide cases after the United States, Brazil and India.
What you might have missed
- There are fears of a coronavirus outbreak in Bollywood, after high-profile actress Aishwarya Rai tested positive for Covid-19
- Donald Trump was finally spotted wearing a mask in public for the first time on Sunday
- Residents in Magaluf are furious at the behaviour of returning British tourists, who have been drinking, singing and jumping on parked cars. Some have also refused to wear masks while in public
- In virus hotspot Florida, the Walt Disney World theme park partially reopened after four months of shutdown, with some visitors combining Mickey ears with their mandatory face masks