Global toll rises to 9,65,760

UK to outline early pub closing as coronavirus alert level raised

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 00:25, Sep 23,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 9,65,760 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 3,13,74,240 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 2,13,38,900 are now considered recovered.

On Monday, 4,188 new deaths and 2,65,437 new cases were recorded worldwide.

The countries with the most new deaths were India with 1,053, followed by Argentina with 429 and Brazil with 377.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 1,99,890 deaths from 68,58,130 cases. At least 26,15,949 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 1,37,272 deaths from 45,58,068 cases, India with 88,935 deaths from 55,62,663 cases, Mexico with 73,697 deaths from 7,00,580 cases, and the United Kingdom with 41,788 deaths from 3,98,625 cases.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 3,25,373 deaths from 88,01,752 cases, Europe 2,26,237 deaths from 49,34,210 infections, the United States and Canada 2,09,148 deaths from 70,02,792 cases, Asia 1,27,220 deaths from 73,66,056 cases, Middle East 42,781 deaths from 18,22,812 cases, Africa 34,076 deaths from 14,15,448 cases, and Oceania 925 deaths from 31,179 cases.

The UK government on Tuesday announces new measures to stem a rising tide of coronavirus cases, shutting pubs in England early and abandoning its call for people to return to the workplace to help kickstart the battered economy.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, who last week said Britain is facing a second wave of infection as elsewhere in Europe, outlines the restrictions to parliament at 1130 GMT.

Government scientists have painted a grim picture of up to 50,000 coronavirus cases a day by mid-October, and a month later exceed 200 deaths every day if no action is taken.

But Johnson, battling sustained criticism for his handling of the outbreak, faces renewed anger from the hospitality sector, which is only just trying to get back on its feet.

The chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, said the restrictions were ‘another crushing blow’ for the beleaguered industry.

‘It’s hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease, when government data shows that just five per cent of infections out of the home are related to hospitality,’ she said.

And remarks from his senior cabinet colleague, Michael Gove, that people should work from home again where possible comes just months after the government encouraged the opposite.

Gove also indicated a ‘pause’ to the planned phased return of fans to live sporting events in England from October 1, disappointing sports bodies from football to rugby.

In the latest sign of the fallout of the coronavirus closure, UK leisure group Whitbread announced that it could shed up to 6,000 jobs at its hotel and restaurant chains.

Pub chain Wetherspoons also said 1,000 of its staff at UK airports had been warned that 400 to 450 jobs were at risk.

Spain’s health minister on Tuesday called on residents of Madrid to limit their movements and social contacts to the ‘essential’ to put the brakes on a surge in COVID-19-19 infections, a day after new restrictions came into effect in part of the region.

Spain is struggling to contain a second wave of the virus, which has already infected over 6,70,000 people and claimed over 30,000 lives, one of Europe’s highest tolls.

Madrid has become the epicentre of the contagion with a rate of infection of nearly 700 cases per 1,00,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks — nearly three times the national average.

‘I would recommend residents of Madrid to limit to the maximum their movements, that they scrupulously respect the measures dictated by the health authorities in the region and minimise their movements to what is essential and their contacts to those closest to them,’ Health Minister Salvador Illa said during an interview with radio Cadena Ser.

His comments come a day after a partial lockdown came into effect on some 8,50,000 people in the Madrid region — mostly in densely populated, low-income districts in the south — who account for 13 per cent of the region’s population of 6.6 million but 24 per cent of virus infections.

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