Global death toll hits over 3.32 lakh

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 00:19, May 23,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 332,870 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 GMT on Friday.

At least 5,109,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,913,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organisation, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

The United States remains the worst-hit country with 94,729 deaths from 1,577,758 cases. At least 298,418 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Britain with 36,042 deaths from 250,908 cases, Italy with 32,486 from 228,006 cases, France at 28,215 deaths and 181,826 cases, and Spain (27,940 and 233,037).

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 4,634 deaths and 82,971 cases. It has 78,255 recovered cases. 

Europe overall has 171,011 deaths from 1,974,501 cases, the United States and Canada have 100,979 deaths from 1,659,082 infections, Latin America and the Caribbean 35,822 deaths from 645,545 cases, Asia 13,264 deaths from 403,480 cases, the Middle East 8,570 deaths from 318,246 cases, Africa 3,095 deaths from 100,002 cases, and Oceania 129 deaths from 8,440 cases.

The novel coronavirus death toll in Brazil surpassed 20,000 on Thursday, after a record number of fatalities in a 24-hour period, the health ministry said.

The country is the epicenter of the outbreak in Latin America, and its highest one-day toll of 1,188 pushed the overall death tally to 20,047.

Brazil has now recorded more than 310,000 cases, with experts saying a lack of testing means the real figures are probably much higher.

With its curve of infections and deaths rising sharply, the country of 210 million ranks third in the world in terms of total cases, behind the United States and Russia.

Italy’s death toll from the novel coronavirus in March and April could be nearly 19,000 higher than the official figure of 32,000, the national social security agency said Thursday.

The Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale, the largest social security and welfare institute in Italy, said in a new study that the official death figures were not ‘reliable’.

Its study showed that 156,429 total deaths were recorded in Italy in March and April, which is 46,909 higher than the average number of fatalities in those months recorded between 2015 and 2019.

But only 27,938 deaths linked to coronavirus were reported during that period by the Civil Protection Agency, whose toll forms the basis of national statistics, the INPS said.

That meant there were 18,971 more deaths than normal during this period, with the vast majority of 18,412 recorded in the coronavirus-ravaged north of the country.

Iran said on Friday it had detected another 51 deaths from its novel coronavirus outbreak, bringing the country’s overall fatalities to 7,300.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,311 new positive tests for COVID-19 took the country’s caseload to 131,652.

Fourteen provinces reported no deaths in the past 24-hour period, while six reported just one fatality.

The number of coronavirus deaths registered in France over the last 24 hours dipped to 83 on Thursday, as a top doctor said he was not seeing a second wave of infections despite the country easing its lockdown.

The latest deaths in hospitals and nursing homes brought France’s total toll from the pandemic to 28,215, the health ministry said in a statement.

The trends remained optimistic, with 49 fewer people in intensive care for a total of 1,745 patients — a number that exceeded 7,000 at the peak of the crisis.

Greece has extended until June 7 a coronavirus lockdown imposed on the overcrowded migrant camps since March, the government announced Friday.

‘Measures against the propagation of the COVID-19 virus are extended for residents of the reception and identification centres across the country,’ the migration ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not say why the lockdown was being extended.

Nearly a dozen detainees in Haiti’s largest prison have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an administrator said Thursday, as fears mounted that the disease could spread like wildfire through the country’s dirty and overcrowded correctional system.

Doctors Without Borders has reopened its Ebola-era hospital in Guinea, only four years since that epidemic ended, as coronavirus cases soar in the West African state. 

The country is struggling to curb the virus, despite enacting imposing travel restrictions and a night-time curfew, raising fears about its capacity to contain a growing outbreak.

More than 660,000 people have been displaced from their homes in conflict zones around the world since March, despite a UN call for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic, a top international aid group said Friday.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said its figures showed that armed conflict around the world had continued during the pandemic, even as much of globe went into lockdown.

Australia on Friday extended its ban on most international cruise ships for three months until mid-September, making no mention of a hoped-for exemption for travel to neighbouring New Zealand.

The ban applies to any cruise liner capable of carrying more than 100 passengers, the Australian Border Force said in a statement.

It is the latest blow to the multi-billion-dollar cruise industry, which already faces lengthy bans in countries from the United States to the Seychelles.

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