Global deaths from coronavirus soars towards 17,000 - GulfToday

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 18,000


A man wearing a face mask is wheeled into La Paz hospital in Madrid. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

The number of deaths around the world from the novel coronavirus now stands at 18,259, according to a tally compiled by the media at 1900 GMT Tuesday from official sources.

More than 404,020 declared cases have been registered in 175 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.


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The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are now only testing cases that require hospitalisation.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks to the media. File photo

Italy, which recorded its first coronavirus death in February, now has more fatalities than China with 6,820, as well as having 69,176 declared infections with 8,326 recoveries.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau -- has to date declared 81,171 cases, including 3,277 deaths, with 73,159 people recovered. It reported 78 new cases and seven new fatalities since Monday.

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Spain now has the world’s second-highest tally of coronavirus deaths, after 738 more were reported on Wednesday, the country's deadliest toll in one day.

With 3,434 coronavirus patients dead, Spain surpassed China’s death toll of 3,285. Italy still has the most deaths of any nation in the world with 6,820. Infections in Spain also rose 20 per cent from a day earlier to 47,610.


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By continent, Europe has listed 199,779 cases and 10,724 deaths to date, Asia 98,748 cases and 3,570 deaths, the US and Canada together 48,519 cases with 523 deaths, the Middle East 29,087 cases and 1,966 deaths, Latin America and the Caribbean 6,217 cases with 112 deaths, Oceania 2,225 cases with nine deaths and Africa 1,778 cases with 57 deaths.

'Months, not weeks'

The pandemic has bludgeoned global stock markets, and the United States — the world's biggest economy — is preparing a huge emergency stimulus package that could top $1 trillion.

Medical workers in overalls attend to a patient under intensive care at the Gemelli hospital in Rome.  File/AFP

China reported its first local infection in four days on Sunday. While the number of cases in the mainland has slumped dramatically since the crisis began, there are fears of "imported" cases from other hotspots like Europe.

France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at home, threatening fines in some cases, while Australia on Sunday told citizens to cancel domestic travel plans.

Britain has told pubs, restaurants and theatres to close and warned citizens to stop panic-buying.

And India went into lockdown on Sunday with a one-day nationwide "self-imposed curfew".

While the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are the hardest hit by the virus, the WHO has warned that young people are also vulnerable.

Accurate COVID-19 figures are difficult to reach because many of the victims suffered from other illnesses, and infection rates are uncertain because of a lack of testing in many countries.

The coronavirus has infected more than 1,000 across Africa too, where healthcare systems are limited and social distancing measures -- like the ones being adopted in North America and Europe -- are difficult in crowded cities.

The Middle East also remains on high alert, where Iran -- which suffered a major outbreak -- reporting 123 new deaths on Saturday. But the Islamic Republic has refused to join the rest of the world in imposing heavy restrictions.

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