Coronavirus kills 6.6 lakh, infects 1.67cr in 196 countries

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 01:06, Jul 30,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 660,787 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 16,769,080 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 9,555,900 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.

On Tuesday, 6,307 new deaths and 244,718 new cases were recorded worldwide. The countries with the most new deaths were United States with 1,592, followed by Brazil with 921 and Mexico with 854.

The US is the worst-hit country with 149,260 deaths from 4,352,304 cases. At least 1,355,363 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 88,539 deaths from 2,483,191 cases, the United Kingdom with 45,878 deaths from 300,692 cases, Mexico with 44,876 deaths from 402,697 cases, and Italy with 35,123 deaths from 246,488 cases.

Coronavirus infections in India passed 1.5 million and deaths neared 35,000 on Wednesday, but test results in Mumbai cast further doubt on official data in the world’s second-most populous nation.

Even as case numbers soar and more areas impose lockdowns, prime minister Narendra Modi said this week India was in a ‘better position that other countries’, and winning international praise.

The health ministry website — which no longer includes total infections as the government puts more emphasis on recoveries — on Wednesday reported almost 50,000 new infections and 768 more deaths.

The South Asian giant, home to some of the world’s most crowded cities and where health-care spending per capita is among the world’s lowest, passed one million cases only 12 days earlier.

But many experts have said India is not testing enough people, and that many coronavirus-linked deaths are not being recorded as such.

A study released Tuesday that tested for coronavirus antibodies reported some 57 per cent of people in Mumbai’s teeming slums have had the infection — far more than official data suggests.

China reported 101 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, its highest single-day figure in three months, as gyms, bars and museums closed in infection hotspots.

Of the new cases, 98 were domestic infections, mostly in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where a growing cluster first discovered earlier this month has prompted mass testing and restrictions.

China — where the global outbreak first emerged — had largely brought domestic transmission under control through targeted lockdowns, travel restrictions and testing. But sporadic regional outbreaks have illustrated the difficulty of keeping the virus at bay.

The last time it recorded so many new cases was April 13, when 108 infections were confirmed — mostly imported.

Hong Kong is on the verge of a ‘large-scale’ coronavirus outbreak that could overwhelm hospitals, its leader warned Wednesday, as authorities implemented their toughest social distancing measures yet in a new blow for the economy.

From Wednesday all residents in the densely packed city of 7.5 million must wear masks when they leave their homes while restaurants can only serve takeaway meals.

No more than two people from different households can gather in public with fines of up to HK$5,000 ($625) for those who breach the new emergency rules.

Italy’s parliament on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to extend the country’s state of emergency until October 15, allowing the government more flexibility to fight the lingering coronavirus pandemic.

The state of emergency serves primarily to cut red tape and accelerate decision-making for the government when faced with disasters such as earthquakes, floods and other catastrophes.

The health minister on Wednesday said France was not in the throes of a second wave of coronavirus infection despite a recent rise in cases, but urged the public to behave responsibly to prevent a new surge.

Olivier Veran acknowledged ‘warnings signs’, but added these were partly due to ramped-up testing.

British prime minister Boris Johnson had warned Tuesday of a ‘second wave’ in Europe after a controversial decision to quarantine all travellers arriving from Spain, a move London has not ruled out applying to other countries.

‘We are not in a second wave of the coronavirus, we are in the wake of an epidemic — more or less at a lower level — depending on the regions and cities concerned,’ Veran told LCI television.

Over two-thirds of a group of 94 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by Malta have tested positive for COVID-19, with the tests of nine others pending, Maltese health authorities said on Tuesday.

The migrants were rescued by the Maltese coastguard on Monday night and were all isolated and tested upon arrival, a statement said.

So far, 65 migrants had tested positive for the coronavirus while 20 tested negative.

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