In Depth

World reacts as global coronavirus deaths pass half a million

More than 4,700 people dying every day as India and Brazil battle new outbreaks

The global death toll from the global Covid-19 pandemic has passed 500,000 and more than ten million infections have been reported, according to latest figures.

Data from John Hopkins University shows that more than half of all the confirmed cases have been in the US and Europe, but the coronavirus crisis is “rapidly growing in the Americas”, the BBC says. The outbreak “is also affecting South Asia and Africa, where it is not expected to peak until the end of July”, the broadcaster adds.

At the present “pace of death”, more than 4,700 people are losing their lives to coronavirus-linked illness every day - equivalent to 196 people per hour, or one person every 18 seconds, Reuters reports. 

“In just five months, the Covid-19 death toll has overtaken the number of people who die annually from malaria,” says The New York Times (NYT).

And “while the overall death rate has flattened in recent weeks, health experts have expressed concerns about record numbers of new cases in countries including the US, India and Brazil, as well as new outbreaks in parts of Asia”, adds Sky News.

China has imposed a new lockdown on around 500,000 people in bid to curb a fresh outbreak near Beijing.

Meanwhile, India and Brazil have “accounted for over a third of all new cases in the past week”, and researchers have warned that the “the death toll in Latin America could rise to over 380,000 by October”, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

As the world passes the “grim milestone” of half a million deaths, the US is also failing to contain the virus, and “makes up approximately 25% of the total fatalities”, says USA Today. Some experts predict the US death toll may hit nearly 180,000 by October, amid fears that “the pandemic is still in its infancy”.

“The recent surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of Southern and Western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively,” according to the NYT. 

“If the Northeast looks like Europe, the South is starting to look like Brazil,” says the newspapers Paul Krugman. 

Over in Australia, authorities in the state of Victoria have reported the “highest daily jump in locally acquired Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began”, with 75 people testing positive on Monday, The Guardian reports. Officials say “they expect numbers to get worse in coming days and are considering further lockdowns”, the newspaper adds.

South Africa, which “already has more than a third of the reported cases for all 54 countries in Africa”, is also expecting a spike in infections, Al Jazzera adds. A total of 138,000 cases have beeen confirmed so far, with more than 4,300 people hospitalised, and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned that these numbers are expected to rise significantly.

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In Europe, authorities “have been calling on people to act responsibly” as good weather and relaxations of lockdown rules see crowds flocking to beaches and other public spaces, Euronews reports. 

Two districts in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, are back in lockdown following an outbreak at a meat-processing plant, while in the Balkans, Croatia has reimposed quarantine measures on new arrivals  from Bosnia, Serbia, North Macedonia and Kosovo following a second wave of coronavirus in the region.

The World Health Organization has warned of a “significant resurgence” in Covid-19 cases in nearly a dozen European countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Macedonia, Sweden and Ukraine.

In a reminder that the UK has not defeated the virus either, Leicester looks set to become the first area forced into a local lockdown, after 658 new coronavirus cases were reported in the city in just two weeks, according to The Times.

Meanwhile, The Moscow Times says that the total number of cases in Russia has reached 641,156, after 6,719 new infections were confirmed on Monday. However, “the country’s one-day increases in new cases have fallen to their lowest levels since April”, the paper adds.

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