Coronavirus live news: US Democrats told to avoid convention; Brazil cases pass 2m

Coronavirus live news: US Democrats told to avoid convention; Brazil cases pass 2mJuly 17, 2020

Mexican authorities to impose local restrictions; White House says ‘science should not stand in way’ of reopening schools. Follow the latest updates

  • Coronavirus cases rising in 41 states as Republicans scale back convention
  • Democrat officials instruct senators, Congress members to skip national convention
  • Brazil cases pass 2m
  • Russian state-sponsored hackers target Covid-19 vaccine researchers
  • See all our coronavirus coverage

Doctors in Bogota are calling for a return to a strict city-wide quarantine to slow coronavirus infections in Colombia’s capital, warning that medical services are close to collapsing, a leading medic said on Thursday.

The Andean country has reported over 165,000 cases of the coronavirus and around 6,000 deaths. Bogota accounts for more than a third of the country’s total cases and over 20% of its deaths, Reuters reports.

“We’re in a critical situation,” the president of the Bogota College of Medicine, Herman Bayona, told Reuters. “We are close to collapse.”

Colombian President Ivan Duque declared an ongoing quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus in late March.

The quarantine is due to be lifted on 1 August, with certain sectors of the economy and parts of the country already starting to reopen. This week the capital began strict, rolling two-week quarantines by neighbourhood, something Bayona said was ineffective.

“We don’t think zonal quarantines have the power to slow the speed of infections,” he said.

Bogota’s intensive care units were at just under 90% capacity as of Wednesday evening, according to local government figures. Mayor Claudia Lopez visited a public hospital on Thursday and said between 20 and 30 new ventilators will come online daily to increase ICU capacity.

Russia on Thursday called off its annual “Immortal Regiment” commemoration of the nation’s World War II dead in which thousands carry photographs of relatives through the streets due to the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.

Organisers had already postponed the event originally scheduled for 9 May but have now dropped plans to stage it on July 26 saying it will only take place once the virus situation in Russia allows it.

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