Worldwide toll rises to 12,26,154

WHO warns of ‘explosion’ of cases in Europe

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 01:03, Nov 06,2020

 
 

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 12,26,154 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 4,81,10,360 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 3,17,01,200 are now considered recovered.

The World Health Organisation in Europe on Thursday said they were seeing an ‘explosion’ of virus cases in the European region and warned mortality rates were also rising.

‘We do see an explosion.... in the sense it only takes a couple of days to have over the European region an increase of one million cases,’ WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said, adding that ‘we see little by little the mortality increasing as well.’

On Wednesday, 8,832 new deaths and 5,51,429 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the United  States with 1,112 new deaths, followed by India with 704 and Mexico with 635.

The United States remains the worst-affected country with 2,33,734 deaths from 94,88,276 cases. At least 37,43,527 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 1,61,106 deaths from 55,90,025 cases, India with 1,24,315 deaths from 83,64,086 cases, Mexico with 93,228 deaths from 9,43,630 cases, and the United Kingdom with 47,742 deaths from 10,99,059 cases.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 4,06,887 deaths from 1,14,28,321 cases, Europe 2,93,703 deaths from 1,16,09,870 infections, and the United States and Canada 2,44,070 deaths from 97,36,494 cases.

Asia has reported 1,73,948 deaths from 1,08,12,182 cases, the Middle East 62,597 deaths from 26,60,517 cases, Africa 44,008 deaths from 18,33,097 cases, and Oceania 941 deaths from 29,884 cases.

Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven went into self-isolation on Thursday and warned that the soaring coronavirus cases had created a ‘serious situation’ again, as the country’s deaths passed 6,000.

Lofven said in a Facebook post that he was isolating with his wife at home and would get tested soon after a person within his social circle tested positive for COVID-19.

‘It’s the only responsible thing to do in this situation,’ Lofven said.

The head of government also warned that developments were ‘going in the wrong direction quickly.’

‘More people are infected. More people are dying. It is a serious situation,’ he said.

England’s 56 million people entered a second coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, with many downing a final round of drinks and in some cities scuffling with police as scepticism mounts about the government’s return to stringent curbs.

Late-night revellers clashed with police, including in parts of London and the northern city of Leeds, while lengthy traffic jams developed in the hours before midnight as motorists sought to escape the capital.

Across England, crowds gathered at pubs before staff called last orders late Wednesday. Hairdressers have been deluged this week, and winding queues snaked outside clothes and other retailers on the final day of pre-lockdown shopping.

Last weekend, prime minister Boris Johnson abandoned a recently introduced system of regional curbs and announced an England-wide shutdown, after dire warnings that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

While opinion polls suggest overall public backing for the stay-at-home policy, concerns are mounting about the impact on the economy and on mental health.

‘For us, it’s absolutely insane,’ Faraj Faraj, head of operations at the London food market Mercato Metropolitano, said.

‘To go through this again, just before Christmas, is actually death by a thousand cuts. We will adapt, we will survive, but we have to take a different approach,’ he said.

Johnson, insisting the lockdown will end on December 2, is pinning his hopes on an ambitious new programme of COVID testing to detect and isolate infected people, starting with a city-wide trial launching in Liverpool on Friday.

But so far, despite government spending of £12 billion on testing programmes, researchers say that only one in five of confirmed cases has been properly isolating, and officials have been failing to reach most of their contacts.

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