Global death toll surpasses 7,00,000
Updated: August 5, 2020 4:46:52 pm
Coronavirus Global Updates: The global death toll from coronavirus surpassed 7,00,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.
Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours on an average, as per Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks. There are over 18.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world.
US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said the coronavirus outbreak is as under control as it can get in the United States, where over 155,000 people have died due to the disease. “They are dying, that’s true. It is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he said in an interview with the Axios news website.
And US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar will visit Taiwan in coming days, Reuters quoted his office as saying. It will be the highest-level visit by a US official in four decades.
During his visit, Azar will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said. “Taiwan has been a model of transparency and cooperation in global health during the COVID-19 pandemic and long before it,” Azar said in a statement.
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has minimised the gravity of the pandemic and opposed lockdown measures, even as he and many of his cabinet members tested positive for the virus.
While Mexico recorded at least 857 deaths due to coronavirus on Tuesday, a record one-day total, pushing the country’s confirmed death toll to 48,869, the third-highest number in the world. The Health Department reported that over 1 million Covid-19 tests have been performed, with around 4,50,000 people testing positive till date. Mexico has had a positivity rate of about 45-50 per cent since the early weeks of the pandemic, largely because most people were tested only after they showed considerable symptoms.
Here are some developments from across the world:
City streets look lifeless in Australia’s toughest lockdown
Melbourne’s usually vibrant downtown streets were draining of signs of life on Wednesday on the eve of Australia’s toughest-ever pandemic restrictions coming into force. Many of the stylish boutiques and eateries in a city dubbed Australia’s Hipster Capital that prides itself on superior coffee had already closed their doors ahead of a ban on non-essential businesses that will throw 250,000 people out of work from Thursday.
Defence personnel in camouflage fatigues and police officers patrolled the streets enforcing pandemic rules that include mandatory masks, which the few pedestrians were abiding by. The closing down of Australia’s second-largest city, which usually accounts for a quarter of the nation’s economic activity, also coincided with frenetic preparation.
WHO says N Korea’s test results for suspected case ‘inconclusive’
North Korea’s test results for a man suspected of being the country’s first coronavirus case were inconclusive, though authorities have quarantined over 3,635 primary and secondary contacts, a World Health Organization official told Reuters.
South Africa sees dip in new virus cases but warns of return
South Africa’s health minister on Wednesday reported decreasing rates of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 but warned that vigilance must continue to prevent a renewed surge. South Africa has 521,318 confirmed coronavirus cases, the fifth highest in the world and more than half of all reported cases in Africa, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far South Africa has recorded 8,884 COVID-19 deaths, although studies of excess mortality rates indicate the actual toll could be higher. The rapid spread of infections in poor, overcrowded urban centers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and other cities threatened to overwhelm public hospitals, but Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize told reporters that so far the health system has been able to cope. “Our hospitals have been battered but we have not breached our hospital capacity,” he said.
Australia reports record Covid-19 deaths
Australia reported 15 deaths due to Covid-19 on Wednesday, all in Victoria state, which is preparing to close much of its economy in order to control a second wave of coronavirus infections, Reuters reported.
Victoria recorded nearly 725 new cases of coronavirus, despite having reimposed a lockdown on the state capital Melbourne four weeks ago.
New South Wales and Queensland introduced new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed 247 lives across the country. The state government imposed a night curfew in Victoria and tightened restrictions on people’s movement on Sunday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews Wednesday said further restrictions would include shutting most child-care centres and expanding a ban on elective surgery to the whole state to free up medical resources for Covid-19 cases. “The notion of more than 700 cases is not sustainable. We need to drive the numbers down and this strategy is designed to do just that,” Andrews told reported in Melbourne.
California underreporting Covid-19 cases due to technical issue
A technical problem has caused a lag in California’s tally of coronavirus test results, casting doubts on the accuracy of recent data showing improvements in the infection rate and hindering efforts to track the spread, the Associated Press reported.
State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly Tuesday said that California has not been receiving a full count through electronic lab reports in recent days because of the unresolved issue. The state’s data page carries a disclaimer saying the numbers represent an underreporting of actual positive cases per day.
The latest daily tally posted Tuesday showed 4,526 new confirmed positives, the lowest in over six weeks.
Nevada health officials 95 per cent of the 980 new cases reported statewide during the last day were in the Las Vegas area.
Confirmed cases statewide crossed 52,000, with at least 862 deaths, according to the Associated Press.
Russia reports over 5,200 cases
Russia reported 5,204 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking its nationwide tally to 8,66,627, the fourth largest caseload in the world, Reuters reported.
The country’s coronavirus task force said 139 people died in the past 24 hours, pushing its official death toll to 14,490.
Pakistan coronavirus death toll crosses 6,000: Health Ministry
Pakistan reported 15 more deaths due to coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking its death toll to 6,014, while the total number of infections touched 2,81,136, PTI quoted the health ministry as saying on Wednesday.
The Ministry of National Health Services said 675 new cases were reported in the country, adding that as many as 2,54,286 people have recovered from the infection while another 872 are in critical condition.
Hong Kong reports 80 new cases
Hong Kong on Tuesday reported 80 new cases of Covid-19 and four additional deaths, the Associated Press reported.
Daily new cases have fallen back into double digits after a spike in infections. Authorities have ordered masks to be worn in all public places, slapped restrictions on indoor dining, banned many activities and increased testing.
A total of 3,669 confirmed coronavirus cases and 42 deaths have been reported in Hong Kong till date.
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