Global death toll rises to 15,07,480

Virus cases worldwide top 65 million

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 11:49, Dec 04,2020 | Updated: 23:36, Dec 04,2020


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,507,480 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 GMT on Friday.

More than 6,52,02,960 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 4,14,22,500 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.

Over Thursday, 12,658 new deaths and 6,69,926 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 2,907, followed by Italy with 993 and Brazil 755.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 2,76,401 deaths from 1,41,47,731 cases. At least 54,04,018 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 1,75,270 deaths from 64,87,084 cases, India with 1,39,188 deaths from 95,71,559 cases, Mexico with 1,08,173 deaths from 11,44,643 cases, and the United Kingdom with 60,113 deaths from 16,74,134 cases.

Global coronavirus infections passed 65 million on Friday and countries doubled down on restrictions, even as plans to roll out vaccines gathered pace.

Joe Biden said he would ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days when he takes over as president of the United States, the world’s worst-hit country from a pandemic that has now killed more than 1.5 million people across the planet.

‘I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask — not forever,’ Biden told CNN on Thursday.

The US is among the countries posting all-time highs in daily deaths this week along with Italy, which is undergoing a dramatic resurgence after it largely tamped down its earlier outbreak by enforcing a strict lockdown in the spring.

California governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced new statewide bans on gatherings and ‘non-essential’ activities, as hospitals in the nation’s most populous state face being overwhelmed by record COVID-19 cases.

The limits will come into effect once 85 percent of intensive care unit beds have been filled — a development expected in four of California’s five regions ‘as early as the next day or two.’

‘We are announcing and introducing a regional ‘stay-at-home’ order in the state of California, fundamentally predicated on the need to stop gathering with people outside of your household,’ said Newsom.

Once a region is placed under the new limits — an ‘emergency brake’ which will last for a minimum of three weeks — the gathering of people from different households will be banned.

Bars and personal services such as hair salons will be temporarily closed, and restaurants will only be allowed to offer take-out and delivery.

‘We’re also establishing a framework where all non-essential travel is as well temporarily restricted statewide,’ said Newsom.

Hotels will no longer be allowed to cater to tourists, while campgrounds will be closed for overnight stays.

Offices must close, except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 

New measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip were announced on Thursday by the interior ministry of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.

Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A night-time curfew was also set to start from Saturday, lasting from 6:00pm to 8:00am, while a full lockdown will be imposed on Fridays and Saturdays from December 11 through to the end of the month.

Iran said its novel coronavirus infections surpassed one million cases on Thursday, as the authorities consider easing restrictions in many parts of the Middle East’s hardest hit country.

The Islamic republic has recorded 10,03,494 COVID-19 infections since announcing its first cases in February, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.

The novel coronavirus has killed 49,348 people in Iran over the same period of time, according to official figures.

But by the admission of some officials, including health minister Saeed Namaki, these figures are much lower than the actual number.

Ex-Soviet Kazakhstan said Friday it will begin producing Russia’s coronavirus vaccine later this month, becoming the latest country to do so as a global inoculation race heats up.

Russia last month said its Sputnik V drug was 95 per cent effective and would be cheaper and easier to store than some alternatives.

President Vladimir Putin has called on Moscow’s allies to mass produce the country’s vaccines.

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