Mexico now has the third most COVID-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the US, the AP reports. 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 northwestern 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. In other countries:
- Tokyo on Saturday saw its third day straight of record case numbers, the metropolitan government said. Nationwide, Japan's daily count of cases totaled a record 1,579 people 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 Saturday, a day after it recorded its first-ever death as it wrestles with a renewed outbreak after 99 days with no local cases.
- In South Korea, prosecutors arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect linked to more than 5,200 of the country's approximately 14,300 confirmed cases. He has denied charges of hiding members and underreporting gatherings to avoid broader quarantines.
- The global pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of this year’s Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, with as few as 1,000 pilgrims already residing in Saudi Arabia taking part, down from 2.5 million last year.
- Meanwhile, India recorded its steepest spike of 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its coronavirus caseload close to 1.7 million, with July alone accounting for nearly 1.1 million infections.
- In France, travelers entering from 16 countries where the virus is circulating widely now must undergo virus tests upon arrival at airports and ports. The country is not permitting general travel to and from the countries, which include the US and Brazil.
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