Coronavirus update: Infection spikes in Brazil, South Korea, Iran, Philippines

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The global death toll from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 360,000 on Friday, as Brazil, South Korea, the Philippines, Iran and Portugal all reported spikes in infections.

Brazil reported a stunning 26,417 new cases of the illness on Thursday, the highest one-day increase since the start of the outbreak, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry. Peru and Chile have also seen steep rises in the past few days, with Chile’s case toll now exceeding that of China, where the illness was first reported late last year.

South Korea has closed more than 200 schools that had reopened Wednesday, after recording 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the Guardian reported. South Korea was widely praised for its initial response to the pandemic, implementing a robust testing-and-tracing program that appeared to have succeeded in containing the disease’s spread. Officials have been working to trace a cluster of infections in Seoul that appeared to have come from nightclubs. The country is now postponing the reopening of a further 800 schools.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control issued a set of guidelines for employers as workers prepare to return to offices. The CDC is recommending that companies continue to let workers socially distance by seating them at least six feet apart and erecting plastic or plexiglass shields around them.


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