Global toll reaches 3.9 lakh, cases 66.4 lakh

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 00:06, Jun 06,2020


The novel coronavirus killed at least 390,868 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 6,640,290 cases of coronavirus had been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,867,400 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 cases or the most serious ones.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 108,211 deaths from 1,872,660 cases. At least 485,002 people had been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Britain with 39,904 deaths from 281,661 cases, Brazil with 34,021 deaths and 614,941 infections, Italy with 33,689 deaths from 234,013 cases, and France with 29,065 deaths and 189,441 cases.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 4,634 deaths and 83,027 infections. It has 78,327 recovered cases.

Europe overall has 181,769 deaths from 2,230,707 cases, the United States and Canada have 115,910 deaths from 1,966,386 infections, Latin America and the Caribbean 60,327 deaths from 1,195,940 cases, Asia 17,876 deaths from 620,353 cases, the Middle East 10,100 deaths from 447,993 cases, Africa 4,755 deaths from  170,286 cases, and Oceania 131 deaths from 8,632 cases.

Brazil’s death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed Italy’s to become the third-highest in the world Thursday, as the UN’s secretary general called for a ‘people’s vaccine’ to stem the pandemic.

The bleak figures from Brazil underlined the grim toll the virus is taking in Latin America, the latest epicenter in the pandemic, even as Europe seeks to reemerge from lockdown — including with a massive new 600-billion-euro ($674-billion) economic stimulus measure announced by the European Central Bank.

But on the medical side, the outlook remains blurry.

Even as researchers around the world race to develop and test vaccines, new — sometimes contradictory — information on the virus continues to emerge.

Peru hit 5,000 coronavirus deaths Thursday, according to the country’s health ministry, as hospitals faced a lack of oxygen for seriously ill patients.

Peru has recorded more than 183,000 cases of COVID-19, making it the second hardest-hit country in Latin America after Brazil.

Officials recorded more than 4,200 new cases and 137 deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing Peru’s total number of fatalities to 5,031, the health ministry said.

South Africa said Thursday it had recorded 3,267 novel coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest jump since the pandemic hit the country.

Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths for a total of 848 fatalities.

More than half of the cases are in the Western Cape region where health services are under pressure.

South Africa is the sub-Saharan African country hardest hit by the pandemic.

A Russian Arctic shipyard city known for nuclear submarine production, Severodvinsk, will be sealed off on Friday to contain a coronavirus outbreak there as the country’s confirmed cases neared 450,000.

The governor of the Arkhangelsk region where Severodvinsk is located has signed a decree shutting access to the city of more than 180,000 people from midnight Friday, with no fixed end date.

Las Vegas casinos threw open their doors Thursday after 11 weeks closed due to coronavirus, with downtown roulette wheels and slot machines whirring to life minutes after midnight.

Large crowds flocked immediately to casinos such as The D, which had flown in gamblers from across the country on hundreds of free flights to boost the occasion.

‘We’re fired up... You can see the smiles on everybody’s faces,’ owner Derek Stevens told journalists. ‘Everybody’s just excited.’

Britain’s business secretary tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday after causing a health scare in parliament that reignited a debate on whether lawmakers were ending virtual sessions prematurely.

Alok Sharma tweeted that he ‘just had results in and my test for #COVID-19 was negative’.

The COVID-19 pandemic is now ‘under control’ in France, the head of the government’s scientific advisory council said Friday, as the country cautiously lifts a lockdown imposed in March.

‘We can reasonably say the virus is currently under control,’ Jean-Francois Delfraissy told France Inter radio.

‘The virus is still circulating, in certain regions in particular... but it is circulating slowly,’ he added.

The Czech Republic said it would fully open borders with Austria and Germany on Friday 10 days earlier than planned, almost three months after they were shut to curb coronavirus.

Travellers from Germany and Austria — along with Hungary — will also be free to enter from noon (10:00 GMT) without submitting a negative virus test or going into quarantine.

The European Commission on Thursday called on EU member states to lift all border restrictions by the end of June, home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson told Euronews, saying the virus situation was ‘fast improving’ in many countries.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday cancelled a weekend curfew introduced to halt the spread of coronavirus, pointing to concerns over the economy.

Turkey has been locked down on weekends and public holidays since April, and the interior ministry said in the early hours of Friday that 15 cities would again be shuttered this weekend.

Indonesia’s capital opened mosques Friday for the first time in nearly three months, as the megacity loosens a partial lockdown despite coronavirus cases mounting in the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation.

Fiji announced it was coronavirus free Friday after the island nation’s last known infected patient was given the all-clear, continuing the Pacific’s remarkable record of success against the virus.

There was panic among Fiji’s 930,000 population when the first COVID-19 case was reported in mid-March, but strict isolation measures and border controls kept a lid on infections, which peaked at 18 confirmed cases.

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