Coronavirus global death toll rises to 14,44,426

Europe virus toll crosses 4,00000, shops reopen in France

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 23:50, Nov 28,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 14,44,426 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 6,15,85,860 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 3,91,86,100 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, 11,271 new deaths and 6,33,683 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 1,410 new  deaths, followed by France with 957 and Italy with 827.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 264,866 deaths from 1,30,92,661 cases. At least 49,47,446 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 1,71,971 deaths from 62,38,093 cases, India with 1,36,200 deaths from 93,51,109 cases, Mexico with 1,04,873 deaths from 10,90,675 cases, and the United Kingdom with 57,551 deaths from 15,89,301 cases.

Coronavirus deaths topped 400,000 Saturday in Europe, the world’s second worst-hit region, as parts of the continent began to reopen shops for the holiday season.

But across the Atlantic fearful US shoppers turned to online outlets for a massive Black Friday sale, while densely populated Los Angeles county announced a ban on gatherings of people from different households under a new ‘safer-at-home order’ to battle the surging pandemic.

Persistent high case numbers in many western countries loom over governments’ hopes to ease their virus rules for Christmas and New Year.

The holidays would be a longed-for respite before bracing for what the world hopes is one last wave of restrictions until a clutch of promising new vaccines kick in.

Europe on Saturday crossed a grim barrier, registering 400,649 deaths according to an AFP tally at 0800 GMT.

Britain accounted for almost two-thirds of the fatalities at 57,551, followed by Italy with 53,677, France at 51,914 and Spain with 44,668.

Stores began lifting their shutters in France on Saturday, while Poland’s shopping centres will also reopen.

‘I’d rather avoid the internet, I’m going to buy things in the shops. They need it,’ said Anne Dubois, one of the first customers applauded through the doors by staff at Paris’ vast Galeries Lafayette department store as it opened at 10:00 am.

‘Whether or not there’s people here, at least we’ve got our daily life getting back to normal,’ said 36-year-old Aurelie, a manager in the L’Oreal section at Galeries Lafayette.

Belgium will allow shops to reopen from December 1, but keep the current semi-lockdown in place possibly until mid-January. The move mirrors similar easing in Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Ireland has also announced a staggered easing of restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen and for families to gather ahead of Christmas. Germany, once a beacon of hope in Europe’s coronavirus nightmare, logged more than one million cases on Friday.

Although the virus spread is slowing thanks to weeks of tough restrictions, Europe remains at the heart of the pandemic, recording more cases than the United States in the past week.

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute recorded more than 22,000 new daily cases on Friday, pushing the overall total in the country beyond the one-million mark.

More worryingly, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has soared from around 360 in early October to more than 3,500 last week.

German still have ‘three or four long winter months ahead’, economy minister Peter Altmaier told Die Welt daily on Saturday, warning that ‘it’s possible the restrictions will be maintained into the first months of 2021’.

The United States surpassed 13 million total cases on Friday — the world’s highest figure — and officials were concerned whether gatherings on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday would further worsen the situation.

The virus clouded the traditional ‘Black Friday’ shopping day for brick-and-mortar stores, but Americans are estimated to have spent up to $10 billion online, tech company Adobe said based on its analytics.

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