According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of people who have died worldwide in the Covid-19 pandemic has surpassed three million.
The milestone comes the day after WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the world was “approaching the highest rate of infection” so far.
India – experiencing a second wave – recorded more than 230,000 new cases on April 17 alone.
Almost 140 million cases have been recorded since the pandemic began.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on April 16 that “cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates”.
He added that “globally, the number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months”.
The US, India and Brazil – the countries with the most recorded infections – have accounted for more than a million deaths between them, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Last week saw an average of 12,000 deaths a day reported around the world, according to AFP.
However, official figures worldwide may not fully reflect the true number in many countries.
Up until a few weeks ago, India appeared to have the pandemic relatively under control. Cases had been below 20,000 a day for much of January and February – a low figure in a country of more than a 1.3 billion people.
But then infections began to rise rapidly: April 17 saw a record set for the third day in a row, with more than 234,000 cases reported.
Hospitals are running low on beds and oxygen. Sick people are being turned away, and some families are turning to the black market to get the drugs they need.
The capital Delhi has gone into lockdown over the weekend, with restrictions put in place in several other states, as officials try to stem the tide.
Brazil – which has recorded the third highest number of cases and, at 368,749, the second highest number of deaths – is still struggling to control the outbreak.
On April 16, the health ministry announced more than 85,000 new cases over the previous 24 hours and 3,305 deaths.
Canada has also reported a recent rise, registering more cases per million than the US over the last week – the first time this has happened since the pandemic began.
Papua New Guinea has also been highlighted as a cause for concern. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted “the potential for a much larger epidemic” in the Pacific nation following a sharp increase in cases.
He added that Papua New Guinea – which has received 140,000 vaccine doses through Australia and the Covax scheme – is a “perfect example of why vaccine equity is so important”.
More than 860 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered, in 165 countries worldwide.
However, the WHO chief told UN officials on April 16: “Vaccine equity is the challenge of our time – and we are failing.”
Some countries have secured and delivered doses to a large proportion of their population.
Those with high vaccinations rates, such as the UK and Israel, have seen their numbers of new infections drop sharply.
While Israel has distributed 119 doses per 100 people, just 2.81 doses per 100 have been given in the Palestinian territories, recent data from Our World in Data at Oxford University showed.
However, many more countries are still waiting for their first shipments to arrive.
That is leading to warnings about growing “vaccine inequity”.
Dr. Tedros pointed out that in high-income countries, one in four people have received a vaccine, compared with only one in 400 in poorer countries.
The WHO is working on a global scheme, Covax, to get rich countries to share their vaccine with lower income countries. Covax plans to deliver about two billion vaccine doses globally by the end of the year, but many vaccines require two doses per person.
The global number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged past 50 million following record numbers of new cases in several countries.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.25 million people have now died after contracting the new coronavirus.
However, the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.
A second wave of the virus has accounted for a quarter of all cases, Reuters reported.
Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicenter of the pandemic earlier this year.
In the US, just under 10 million have tested positive for Covid-19. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row.
The states of North and South Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.
President-elect Joe Biden has vowed a much more aggressive approach to the pandemic, after President Donald Trump repeatedly downplayed its gravity and resisted public health measures including wearing masks and social distancing.
Joe Biden has vowed to name a group of top scientists to his coronavirus task force as early as November 9, wants more testing and plans to call on every American to wear a mask when they are around people outside their own household.
He is likely to take charge when the pandemic is at its peak in the country, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says.
Dr Gottlieb told media that the rate of new infections would probably be starting to decrease by late January, and “the only question is going to be how many people have died in the course of this and how many people have been infected”.
In Europe, France recorded 38,619 new cases on November 8 – many less than November 7 record increase of 86,852 cases. However, the health ministry said it had problems collecting data and there would be a correction on November 9.
France also registered 271 deaths, bringing the total to 40,439. The country is just over a week into a second lockdown with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.
Under the lockdown restrictions, expected to be in place until December 1, people can only leave their homes to go to work if they cannot work from home, to buy essential goods, seek medical help or to exercise for one hour a day.
According to recent figures from Johns Hopkins University, more than 200,000 people worldwide have now died with the coronavirus.
There are more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, the tally shows.
It comes after the US death toll passed 50,000, as Americans endure the world’s deadliest outbreak.
Chinese state media reported the first known death linked to the virus on January 11. More than 210 countries and territories have since reported cases.
Five countries have now reported death tolls above 20,000 although the way fatalities are counted varies widely.
The US, Spain and Italy have seen the highest number of reported fatalities.
France, which does include deaths in care homes in its statistics, said its toll had risen by 369 on April 25.
There have been 22,614 virus deaths in France since the start of March, but health officials say the mortality rate in hospitals is falling, and the number of people in intensive care has dropped for the seventeenth consecutive day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says patients who have recovered from the virus may not be protected against re-infection.
Earlier this week, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted upward trends in Covid-19 cases in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central America and South America.
Dr Tedros said that while most of the epidemics in Western Europe appeared to be stable or in decline, for many countries the disease was just getting started.
He said: “And some (countries) that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases.”
One such country is Singapore, which was initially praised for its success in containing the virus, but has since seen a surge of infections linked to industrial worksites and tightly packed worker dormitories.
Elsewhere in Asia, Chinese authorities reported no new deaths for the tenth consecutive day on April 25, and South Korea had its second day without a death.
Statisticians have cautioned that a reported death toll may not always give the full picture of a country’s epidemic.
The US has seen the most coronavirus deaths of any individual country, for example, but also has a far larger population than most.
With 330 million people, the US population exceeds the total number of people living in the five largest countries in Western Europe – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Many European countries have reported more deaths per head of population than the US, and Europe as a whole has reported more deaths overall.
Death rates also depend on who is counted. Some countries are including deaths in care homes in their data, giving a fuller picture, whereas others only count deaths in hospital where Covid-19 has been confirmed.
California is, nonetheless, one of the main centers of the coronavirus in
the US, and the state’s Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order covering
virtually the entire population of 40 million people.
from the state’s emergency operations centre in Sacramento – a place that is
normally used to coordinate the response to wildfires or earthquakes – Governor
Newsom called on people here to only leave their homes if it was absolutely
necessary, to get food, collect medicines, or care for a friend or relative.
a model that state planners here have been using, the governor predicted that
more than half of California’s population will contract the virus over the
course of the next eight weeks – a staggering total of around 25 million
Newsom said that cases of the virus were doubling every four hours in some
areas, and – based on projections – nearly 20,000 more hospital beds would be
needed to deal with the effects of the outbreak than the state could currently
is asking Congress for a billion dollars in federal funding to support
California’s response to the crisis, and calling for a navy hospital ship to be
deployed to the Port of Los Angeles to help deal with the anticipated surge in
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