Global coronavirus toll rises to 11,33,136

Ireland in second lockdown as Germany faces record surge

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


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 11,33,136 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 4,13,04,020 cases have been registered worldwide. Of these, at least 2,82,94,600 are now considered recovered.

On Wednesday, 6,509 new deaths and 4,62,751 new cases were recorded worldwide.

The countries with the  most new deaths were the United States with 990, followed by India with 702 and Brazil with 566.

The US is also the worst-affected country with 2,22,220 deaths from 83,38,387 cases. At least 33,23,354 people there have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 1,55,403 deaths from 52,98,772 cases, India with 1,16,616 deaths from 77,06,946 cases, Mexico with 87,415 deaths from 8,67,559 cases, and the United Kingdom with 44,158 deaths from 7,89,229 cases.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 3,85,650 deaths from 1,06,88,408 cases, Europe 2,56,298 deaths from 80,46,430 infections, and the United States and Canada 2,32,043 deaths from 85,43,944 cases. 

Asia has reported 1,62,843 deaths from 99,47,579 cases, the Middle East 54,819 deaths from 23,67,282 cases, Africa 40,473 deaths from 16,76,712 cases, and Oceania 1,010 deaths from 33,674 cases.

Businesses closed across Ireland on Thursday for a second national coronavirus lockdown, as record infection surges in Germany and Italy helped to spread gloom across the continent.

Most European governments have been reluctant to reimpose national stay-at-home orders, after previous restrictions led to deep recessions and widespread bitterness.

But Ireland’s five million people have been ordered to stay at home for six weeks, with non-essential businesses told to shut up shop, among other rules.

‘It’s devastating to see us locked down again... during our busiest line-up for the Christmas period,’ Dublin antique jeweller John Farrington said this week.

Germany and Italy are both facing record surges, registering their highest one-day tallies since the pandemic began.

While German health experts said it was still possible to combat the outbreak by observing recently-toughened rules on distancing and gatherings, Italy ordered curfews in regions that cover the capital Rome and business hub Milan.

Germany, along with most European countries, has already banned large gatherings and made face masks compulsory in certain areas.

In a symbol of Germany’s woes, health minister Jens Spahn — widely praised for his calm stewardship during the pandemic—tested positive and went into home isolation.

In Belgium, which has one of the worst records of virus infections per person, foreign minister Sophie Wilmes is being treated in intensive care after testing positive.

‘She is conscious and she can communicate,’ her spokeswoman said.

As stories of individual suffering emerge from the latest upsurge of cases in Europe, the grim statistics are also stacking up — Spain becoming the sixth country to have registered more than one million infections.

And in Britain local lockdowns were coming into force even as a bitter political row over the measures remained unresolved.

More than seven million people will face severe restrictions by the weekend, prompting opposition leader Keir Starmer — who wants a national ‘circuit break’ lockdown—to warn of ‘months of agony’ ahead.

The scramble to develop a vaccine, involving dozens of clinical trials across the world, also failed to lift the gloom, with the first death reported of a volunteer.

It was not clear if the volunteer, taking part in trials in Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University, had received the vaccine or a placebo.

The university said in a statement there were no concerns about the safety of the trial and Brazilian regulators had recommended that it should continue.

However, a leading public health expert sought to dampen expectations of a silver bullet emerging from any of the clinical trials.

Peter Doshi of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy said none of the trials would prove whether a product could prevent people contracting COVID-19 and none were evaluating the drugs for their efficacy in vulnerable groups such as older people.

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