The French health ministry reported 4,711 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, a new post-lockdown record and a level last seen during the height of the epidemic in France.
Germany confirmed 1,707 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, official figures showed.
Brazil expressed cautious optimism that the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be about to slow down, with cases and deaths on a weekly basis falling from their late July peaks.
More than 22.5 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14.3 million have recovered. More than 790,600 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
Friday, August 21
01:07 GMT – Morocco may reimpose full lockdown
King Mohammed VI warned Morocco could return to a complete coronavirus lockdown amid a jump in infections that has strained health services and triggered protests by medical staff.
New cases nationally have surged to more than 1,000 a day since Morocco lifted a strict three-month long lockdown in late June and hit a record high of 1,766 on August 15.
“If figures continue to increase, the COVID-19 Scientific Committee may recommend another lockdown, perhaps with even tighter restrictions,” the king said in a speech.
As of Thursday, Morocco had recorded a total 47,638 cases, including 775 deaths and 32,806 recoveries.
START HERE | Coronavirus: What did they get wrong? (9:03)
00:57 GMT – Canada extends emergency aid
Canada announced a four-week extension of emergency aid for people who lost work due to the pandemic, and an easing of rules on qualifying for unemployment benefits when that expires.
Officials estimated the cost of the new measures at 37 billion Canadian dollars ($28bn) over one year.
About 4.5 million Canadians, or 12 percent of the population, are currently receiving $2,000 a month in emergency support. That will now be place until September 27.
Afterwards, claimants will be shifted to an unemployment benefits programme.
00:33 GMT – Peru, Argentine economies post huge falls
Peru’s year-on-year GDP fell by 30 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to coronavirus containment measures, the government said.
In Peru, mandatory confinement was in place throughout the whole of the second quarter and was only lifted in the majority of the country on July 1. The worst-hit sectors of the economy were mining, down by 20.9 percent, processing, down by 44.5 percent, and services, down by 28.3 percent, the state statistics and information institute said.
In Argentina, official data showed the country’s economy contracted by almost 13 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
The year-on-year fall in GDP for June was 12.3 percent, although that was an improvement on April and May.
Concerns over Brazil tourism curb amid COVID-19 pandemic (2:37)
00:27 GMT – Latin America’s death toll passes 250,000
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Latin America surged past 250,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally.
The grim milestone was passed as Brazil reported 1,204 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.
Over the past week, the region has reported more than 3,000 deaths a day, while daily caseloads continue to rise in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
00:16 GMT – Brazil’s cases top 3.5 million
Brazil reported 45,323 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,204 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.
Brazil has now registered 3,501,975 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 112,304, according to ministry data.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
Go here for all the key developments from yesterday, August 20.
Al Jazeera and news agencies