BOGOTA, Colombia

Coronavirus cases continue to mount in Latin America with some countries nearing their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.  

More than 5,980,000 cases have been recorded with more than 236,000 deaths in the region, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil and Mexico have seen the highest number of deaths, but Colombia and Peru are also battling major outbreaks. 

Brazil  

The Agriculture Ministry said there is no evidence that shows the virus can be transmitted by eating or handling food after authorities in southern China said imported chicken from Brazil carried the virus.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of frozen poultry and it cited the World Health Organization’s announcement that there is no scientific evidence of COVID-19 transmission from frozen food or food packaging.

Samples of outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in Xian, tested positive for the virus in July, according to local Chinese authorities.

Brazil reported 50,644 new infections and 1,060 new deaths, authorities said Friday. Its tally stands at 3,275,520 confirmed cases with 106,523 fatalities. 

Mexico  

The US Department of Homeland Security said it would extend the closure of its shared borders with Canada and Mexico to Sept. 21.

“We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19,” acting US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf wrote on Twitter.

The travel restriction was first announced March 18 and has been renewed monthly.

Mexico records more than 505,000 cases and 55,000 deaths.

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