Global coronavirus toll rises to 29,87,891

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 01:28, Apr 17,2021


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 29,87,891 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT on Friday.

At least 13,90,08,120 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

On Thursday, 13,646 new deaths and 8,09,849 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were Brazil with 3,560 new deaths, followed by India with 1,185 and United States with 974.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 5,65,289 deaths from 3,14,95,652 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 3,65,444 deaths from 1,37,46,681 cases, Mexico with 2,11,213 deaths from 22,95,435 cases, India with 1,74,308 deaths from 1,42,91,917 cases, and Britain with 1,27,191 deaths from 43,80,976 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Czech Republic with 264 fatalities per 1,00,000 inhabitants, followed by Hungary with 254, Bosnia-Herzegovina 235, Montenegro 225 and Bulgaria 214.

Europe overall has 10,16,003 deaths from 4,74,40,536 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 8,52,118 deaths from 2,68,12,010 infections, and the United States and Canada 5,88,779 deaths from 3,25,89,214 cases.

Asia has reported 2,92,169 deaths from 2,05,66,289 cases, the Middle East 1,20,787 deaths from 71,61,469 cases, Africa 1,17,015 deaths from 43,97,613 cases, and Oceania 1,020 deaths from 40,992 cases.

A Hindu seer dies and 80 other holy men test positive for the virus after attending a vast Indian religious festival where millions of pilgrims have been ignoring pandemic health advice despite a national surge in infections.

The head of Pfizer says in an interview that people will ‘likely’ need a third dose of his company’s COVID-19 shot within six to 12 months of vaccination.

The WHO expresses concern over a ‘sharp increase’ of cases in Papua New Guinea, warning the outbreak is at a critical stage and could fuel a much larger epidemic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday received her first dose of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, more than two weeks after German authorities recommended use of the jab only for people aged 60 and over.

The administration of president Joe Biden on Friday announced it would spend $1.7 billion to improve its ability to sequence the coronavirus for genetic changes, as new and potentially dangerous variants are poised to dominate the pandemic.

The funding comes from a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package passed last month and will help the United States come up to speed on genomic surveillance, an area in which it has lagged behind badly relative to other advanced countries.

Portugal will lift its suspension on flights to and from Britain and Brazil for ‘essential trips’ as it moves ahead with an easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the interior ministry said Friday.

Prime minister Antonio Costa said late Thursday that Portugal will from Monday start the third phase of a gradual lifting of curbs imposed after the country was hit with a powerful coronavirus wave in January.

The European Commission on Friday sent a letter to Ireland questioning its mandatory hotel quarantine for people arriving from five EU countries, a spokesman said.

The measure — applied to travellers coming from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg — raises ‘concerns’ under principles of EU law in terms of proportionality and non-discrimination, spokesman Christian Wigand told journalists.

The five EU countries are among 71 nations listed in the Irish government decision, which calls for a minimum 10-day hotel quarantine to limit the import of new coronavirus variants.

China’s Coronavac vaccine was 67 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 80 per cent at preventing death, according to real-life results unveiled Friday from Chile’s inoculation campaign.

‘These figures should convey peace of mind to the country,’ health minister Enrique Paris told journalists as he announced the outcome of two months’ of vaccination in Chile, in February and March.

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