Global death toll tops 11 lakh

Europe battles soaring caseload

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 00:11, Oct 18,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 11,05,691 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 GMT on Saturday.

At least 39,368,710 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 27,117,500 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 Friday, 6,118 new deaths and 403,629 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were India with 837 new deaths, followed by the United States with 796 and Brazil with 754.

The United States is the worst-affected country  with 218,602 deaths from 8,050,385 cases.  Millions of Europeans on Saturday faced tough new coronavirus restrictions as governments try to combat spiralling infections.

Paris and other French cities are under a nighttime curfew which will last for at least a month, while England is banning mixed household gatherings in the capital and other areas and Italy’s most populous region is limiting bar openings and suspending sports events.

Cases of the disease which has upended life across the globe and wreaked social and economic havoc have been soaring beyond levels seen in the first wave earlier this year, when many countries sought to stem the tide with lockdowns of varying degree.

About 20 million people in Paris and several other French cities were facing the start of a 9 pm-6 am curfew after the country on Thursday saw a new high of 30,000 cases in 24 hours in one of Europe’s major hostpots.

In Britain, which has Europe’s highest death toll at more than 43,000, restrictions are being ramped up with bans on indoor meetings between members of different households in London and several other English cities.

Those zones are in the second of a three-tier alert system introduced by the government of prime minister Boris Johnson while some areas — notably in the northwest — have been placed on the highest level.

As Britain battled for a coherent strategy, German chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to stay at home whenever possible after 7,830 cases emerged over 24 hours.

On Friday, a Berlin court overturned an order for restaurants and bars to close early, the latest in a slew of legal rulings upending measures taken by Germany’s national and local governments to fight coronavirus transmission.

In Italy, the wealthy northern region of Lombardy has ordered all bars to shut at midnight as the area where Europe’s first virus cases emerged in February battles a second wave.

Elsewhere in Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic and Belgium all announced daily record caseloads after the World Health Organisation dubbed a 44 per cent rise in European cases in a week ‘very concerning’.

Belgian authorities said Saturday they had reached 200,000 cases less than a month after surpassing 100,000.

Beyond Europe, South Africa, which accounts for around 43 per cent of the continent’s diagnosed infections, passed 700,000 positive cases Friday with 61 deaths taking the fatality toll to over 18,000.

Austria’s foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg became the latest politician to test positive for COVID-19, after leaders including US president Donald Trump, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Britain’s Johnson.

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