Coronavirus live news: Victoria faces stage 4 lockdown as South Africa cases pass 500,000

Australian state braced for new announcement; South Africa accounts for more than half of Africa’s diagnosed Covid-19 infections; WHO anticipates “lengthy” pandemic. Follow the latest updates

1.36am BST

Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on his own top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, arguing against the doctor’s claim that high rates of infection in the US stem from a less aggressive reaction to the virus in terms of economic shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

“Wrong!” countered the president as he retweeted a video of Fauci making the point in recent congressional testimony.

Related: Donald Trump claims Anthony Fauci ‘wrong’ about cause of Covid-19 surge

1.25am BST

The head of Mexico’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has sidestepped calls to resign after Mexicos death count rose to overtake the United Kingdom as the third-highest in the world, AP reports.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said late Friday, “I express my respect to the nine of Mexico’s 32 state governors who called for his resignation,” adding “I hope we can continue to work together.”

Mexico reported 688 more confirmed Covid-19 deaths on Friday, raising its accumulated total to 46,688. The number of confirmed cases rose by a near-record 8,458, bringing Mexicos total cases so far to almost 425,000.

A letter calling for López-Gatell’s immediate resignation bore the names of 10 state governors, all from opposition parties, was made public Friday, but later one of those governors said he had not approved the letter and distanced himself from it.

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