1 Cameroon migrant dead, 2 missing in boat capsize in Mexico

Security forces form a cordon around the lifeless body of Emmanuel Cheo Ngu, of Cameroon, on the shore of Boca Barra Beach, in Puerto Arista, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP)
Updated 12 October 2019

1 Cameroon migrant dead, 2 missing in boat capsize in Mexico

  • Emergency crews rescued seven men and one woman who had been in the same boat
  • The search continued for two others who have not yet been found

MEXICO CITY: One migrant from the African country of Cameroon was found dead Friday and two others are missing after a boat capsized just off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast.

Emergency crews rescued seven men and one woman who had been in the same boat. They were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
The search continued for two others who have not yet been found. The Mexican Navy was helping in the efforts.

The prosecutors’ office in the southern state of Chiapas said the accident occurred early Friday near the Guatemalan border, in an area used by migrant traffickers in the past. The boat may have foundered on a shoal at the mouth of an inlet to a coastal lagoon.

It identified the dead man as 39-year-old Emmanuel Cheo Ngu. Many migrants flee Cameroon to escape the conflict between the English-speaking population and the Francophone majority-government.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute distributed photos showing at least two of the migrants, a man and a woman, being carried on stretchers.
The capsize apparently occurred at a spot at least 230 kilometers (143 miles) by sea from the nearest point on the Guatemalan coast. That would be a long trip for what the immigration institute described as a fishing boat.

It was not clear if the migrants had set sail from Guatemala; hundreds of African migrants have been looking for a way to skirt the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, where they say immigration authorities have stalled on giving them residency or transit papers. Almost all of them want to seek asylum in the United States, rather than stay in Mexico.

The migrants have engaged in scuffles with police at the Tapachula immigration offices in recent weeks. Mexico says they can stay in southern Mexico, or leave by the southern border, but the migrants want documents that will allow them to reach the northern border.

Mexican immigration activist Irineo Mujica wrote that “this situation of bottling them up against their will in the city of Tapachula is starting to take a toll in blood.”


US passes 9 million coronavirus cases as infections spike

Updated 31 October 2020

US passes 9 million coronavirus cases as infections spike

  • On Friday the US set a record for new daily infections of more than 94,000 in 24 hours
  • More than 229,000 people have died of the virus in the US since the pandemic began

WASHINGTON: The United States passed nine million reported coronavirus cases on Friday and broke its own record for daily new infections for the second day in a row, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, as Covid-19 surges days before the country chooses its next president.
The US, which has seen a resurgence of its outbreak since mid-October, has now notched up 9,034,295 cases, according to a real-time count by the Baltimore-based school.
On Friday the country set a record for new daily infections of more than 94,000 in 24 hours, breaking the record of 91,000 it had set just one day earlier.
With the virus spreading most rampantly in the Midwest and the South, hospitals are also filling up again, stretching the health care system just as the nation heads in to flu season.
"We are not ready for this wave," Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University school of public health, warned on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday.

COVID-19 tally by the John Hopkins University of Medicine as of October 30, 2020.

Authorities in El Paso, Texas, imposed a curfew this week to protect "overwhelmed" health care workers and began setting up field hospitals.
But a judge's attempt to shut down non-essential businesses in the city has been challenged by the mayor and the state's attorney general, the Washington Post reported.
Midwestern state Wisconsin has also set up a field hospital in recent weeks, and hospital workers in Missouri were sounding warning bells as cases rise.
Hospitals in the western state of Utah were preparing to ration care by as early as next week as patients flood their ICUs, according to local media.
The pattern of the pandemic so far shows that hospitalizations usually begin to rise several weeks after infections, and deaths a few weeks after that.
More than 229,000 people have died of the virus in the US since the pandemic began, the Hopkins tally showed as of Friday, with the daily number of deaths creeping steadily upwards in recent weeks also -- though at present it remains below peak levels.
For months public health officials have been warning of a surge in cases as cooler fall weather settles over the US, driving more people indoors.
As the weather changes, New York and other parts of the northeast, which were the epicenter of the US outbreak in the spring but largely controlled the virus over the summer, were reporting a worrying rise.
Some epidemiologists believe that Covid-19 spreads more easily in drier, cool air.
Rural areas, which in the spring appeared to be getting off lightly compared to crowded cities, were also facing spikes with states like North Dakota charting one of the steepest rises in recent weeks.
The state is so overwhelmed that earlier this month it told residents they have to do their own contact tracing, local media reported.
With four days to go until the election, Donald Trump was battling to hold on to the White House against challenger Joe Biden, who has slammed the president's virus response.
"It is as severe an indictment of a president's record as one can possibly imagine, and it is utterly disqualifying," Biden said Friday as the toll passed nine million.
Trump downplays the virus even as the toll has been accelerating once more, holding a slew of rallies with little social distancing or mask use.
He has repeatedly told supporters that the country is "rounding the curve" on Covid infections.
But Americans, wary of crowded polling booths on Election Day as the virus spreads, are voting early in record numbers.