Global coronavirus toll rises to 20,41,289

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 23:48, Jan 19,2021


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 20,41,289 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 9,54,76,360 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and excludes later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.

On Monday, 9,002 new deaths and 5,12,975 new cases were recorded worldwide. Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 1,385, followed by Germany with 989 and the United Kingdom with 599.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 3,99,003 deaths from 2,40,79,205 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 2,10,299 deaths from 85,11,770 cases, India with 1,52,556 deaths from 1,05,81,837 cases, Mexico with 1,41,248 deaths from 16,49,502 cases, and the United Kingdom with 89,860 deaths from 34,33,494 cases.

Europe overall has 6,65,607 deaths from 3,08,19,585 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 5,52,535 deaths from 1,74,40,653 infections, and the United States and Canada 4,17,077 deaths from 2,47,92,150 cases.

Asia has reported 2,31,560 deaths from 1,46,83,049 cases, the Middle East 93,944 deaths from 44,23,288 cases, Africa 79,621 deaths from 32,86,098 cases, and Oceania 945 deaths from 31,543 cases.

An estimated 12 per cent of people in England had been infected with coronavirus by December last year, up from nine percent in November, according to official antibody data.

Construction crews work around the clock to erect a vast quarantine facility on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang, to curb the northern city’s growing outbreak.

Countries around the world stepped up their coronavirus vaccine campaigns Monday, with Russia offering jabs to all citizens, while an independent probe found fault with the early response to the pandemic.

Both the World Health Organisation and Beijing could have acted faster when COVID-19 first surfaced in China a year ago, the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response concluded in a report.

It added that countries where the virus was likely to spread should have put containment measures in place immediately.

Nationwide rollouts from Brazil to Azerbaijan were getting underway Monday, while Britain and France were widening inoculations to all elderly people.

In Russia, the government invited all citizens to sign up for the homegrown Sputnik V jab — but while it was widely available in Moscow, many regions reported receiving only between 5,000 and 15,000 doses in the country of 146 million.

India’s campaign was also facing teething problems as it emerged that almost a third of the 3,00,000 people invited for a shot on the opening day didn’t turn up.

‘These are initial days and we understand people are waiting to see how the procedure pans out,’ said Suneela Garg, a member of the coronavirus task force for New Delhi.

‘These numbers will go up as confidence is strengthened. And for that, we have to tackle misinformation.’

Authorities worldwide have been mounting public information campaigns to address concerns over vaccine safety, and in the face of powerful online anti-vax movements.

After 33 elderly people who had received a first dose died in Norway, authorities there stressed there was no proven link between the jabs and the deaths. They recommended, however, that doctors consider patients’ frailty before immunising them.

For Syrian refugee Fatima Ali, receiving her vaccination was cause for tears of joy.

‘It’s a gift from God,’ the 70-year-old said as she was vaccinated outside a clinic in Mafraq, Jordan.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned rich countries against hogging doses while the poorest suffer, blasting vaccine manufacturers for chasing regulatory approvals there rather than seeking global approval.

Israel, praised for one of the world’s fastest rollouts, has secured a significant stock of vaccines partly by pledging to quickly share data on its impact with Pfizer, according to an agreement with the drug company seen by AFP.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Germany’s 16 states are expected Tuesday to extend and tighten a partial lockdown beyond January, as fears grow over virus variant strains believed to be more contagious.

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