Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

Coronavirus: Global death toll tops 200,000

More than 2.8 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed across the world

Board Certified Chaplain Bill Simpson comforts a patient under investigation for coronavirus at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shawnee, Oklahoma, U.S. April 23, 2020 Reuters
Board Certified Chaplain Bill Simpson comforts a patient under investigation for coronavirus at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shawnee, Oklahoma, U.S. April 23, 2020 Reuters

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus have reached the grim milestone of 200,000, figures from John Hopkins University have shown.

The leading medical university announced at the same time a total of 2.8 million cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed around the globe. The total number of actual cases is believed to be significantly higher.

The new figures from the United States illustrated the devastating impact of the disease, which since the first cases was announced by Chinese state media in January this year, has now spread to more than 210 counties and territories around the world.

Governments on every continent, in a bid to curb the spread of the outbreak, have introduced harsh lockdown measures. The unprecedented restrictions have paralysed economies and radically changed everyday life.

The developed world has, thus far, been hit hardest by the coronavirus. The US, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have all reported death tolls of over 20,000 from Covid-19. The United States has been the country the worst hit by the virus with 50,000 deaths.

Experts have warned, however, that the illness is expected to spread to the developing world.

The global death toll was updated as the UAE announced it had conducted more than a million Coivd-19 tests since the outbreak. Of these, 9,813 cases have been identified, representing less than 1 per cent positive results.

Authorities also confirmed a further 532 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as well as seven deaths and 127 new recoveries.

The new figures take the UAE’s totals to 71 deaths and 1,887 recoveries. At least 20 per cent of all Covid-19 cases in the UAE have now recovered, said Dr Amna Al Dhahak, spokeswoman for the UAE government.

Across the world, authorities are considering the benefits of partially relaxing their lockdown restrictions.

In Europe, children in Spain will get their first fresh air in weeks on Sunday when a ban on letting them outside is relaxed. After 44 days indoors, they'll be allowed to take one toy or scooter with them but not play together for the adult-supervised one-hour excursions

In India, easing restrictions meant reopening neighbourhood stores that many of the country's 1.3 billion people rely on for everything from cold drinks to mobile phone data cards.

But the loosening didn't apply to hundreds of quarantined towns and other places hit hardest by the outbreak that has killed at least 775 people in the country and terrified its multitudes of poor who live in slum conditions too crowded for social distancing.

Elsewhere in Asia, authorities reported no new deaths Saturday for the 10th straight day in China, where the virus originated.

And South Korea reported just 10 fresh cases, the eighth day in a row its daily jump came below 20. There were no new deaths for the second straight day.

In an announcement that underscored the scientific unknowns about the virus, the World Health Organisation said "there is currently no evidence" that people who have recovered from Covid-19 cannot fall sick again.

Updated: April 26, 2020 01:09 AM

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