Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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US Coronavirus Update: Trump Suspends Immigration, Colombia Extends Lockdown, Bolsonaro Joins Protests

(Photo : Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay )

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

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As coronavirus cases in the United States and throughout the Latin Americas spike, U.S. President Donald Trump has started biting the hard reality that going back to normal won't be as easy as expected.

Trump Temporarily Suspends Immigration

Trump on Monday evening announced that he is set to sign an executive order that should temporarily suspend immigration to the country as part of the efforts to build a stronger defense against the COVID-19 strain, CNN reported.

The U.S. president has yet to detail his plans for suspending immigration and how bordering countries will be impacted amid the latest move from the White House. It is also unclear whether his decision will affect green card holders.

The announcement came following the release of data from Johns Hopkins University wherein the U.S. is said to have registered 784,599 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 42,138 deaths. The country logged 24,859 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours.

De Blasio Expands Feeding Program

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's free meals program will start serving kosher meals to 10 Queens and Brooklyn locations as part of the program's overall goal of feeding people in New York during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the New York Post, the move came amid increasing protests from the City Council's Jewish Caucus wherein concerns about the programs "priorities" were fired to the de Blasio administration.

As of Monday, New York reported 253,060 confirmed coronavirus cases and 18,611 deaths. It remains the hardest-hit state in the U.S.

Venezuela Thanks Russia for COVID-19 Aid

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday expressed gratitude to Russia for the country's pledges of medical aid amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Maduro revealed that he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, regarding the humanitarian aid offered by the country. Putin, according to Maduro, promised "new shipments of health supplies."

The news came amid continued bad blood between Venezuela and the U.S. as the latter has been firm on its diplomatic and economic sanctions as the White House recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the president instead of Maduro.

As of Monday, Venezuela registered 256 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least nine deaths.

Colombia Extends Lockdown

Following the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced on Monday that the while manufacturing and constructions segments will reopen, the community quarantine will be extended through May 11, Reuters reported.

Duque added in his announcement that the government may also start allowing other segments to operate again but necessary measures need to be taken to ensure that the further COVID-19 infections will be prevented.

So far, Colombia has recorded 3,977 confirmed coronavirus cases and 189 deaths.

Bolsonaro Under Fire for Jumping into Anti-Lockdown Bandwagon

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized by state governors following his appearance in the anti-lockdown protests that call for the strict quarantine measures in some locations, BBC News reported.

In his address to hundreds of people who protested on Sunday outside the army headquarters in Brasilia, Bolsonaro called the protesting parties as "patriots" as they claim individual freedoms from the government.

Brazil is the hardest-hit country in all of Latin America, with 40,743 confirmed COVID-19 cases and around 2,587 deaths as of Monday.

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