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Mexico virus death toll world’s third highest as storm could hinder US response

Mexico now has the third most Covid-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the United States, where a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast is threatening to complicate efforts to contain the virus.

Hurricane Isaias’ imminent arrival forced the closure of some outdoor testing sites even as Florida reached a new daily high in deaths, and other states in the path of the storm prepared emergency shelters that comply with social-distancing measures.

“We had to put safety first,” Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mexican health officials on Friday reported 688 new deaths, pushing the country’s confirmed total to over 46,600. That put Mexico just ahead of the UK, which has more than 46,100, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Some countries are seeing hopeful signs: China reported a more than 50% drop in newly confirmed cases in a possible indication that its latest major outbreak in the north-western region of Xinjiang may have run its course.

However, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, infections continue to surge.

Hong Kong reported more than 100 new cases as of Saturday among the population of 7.5 million. Officials have reimposed dining restrictions and mask requirements.

Tokyo on Saturday saw its third day straight of record case numbers, the metropolitan government said.

Nationwide, Japan’s daily count of cases totalled a record 1,579 people on Friday, the health ministry said. The growing numbers have alarmed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as other regional leaders.

And Vietnam, a former success story, is struggling to control an outbreak spreading in its most famous beach resort.

A third person died there of coronavirus complications, officials said on Saturday, a day after it recorded its first-ever death as it wrestles with a renewed outbreak after 99 days with no local cases.

All three died in a hospital in Da Nang, a hot spot with more than 100 cases in the past week.