World­wide coro­n­avirus cases ex­ceed 10 mil­lion

GRIM MILE­STONE North Amer­ica, Latin Amer­ica and Europe each ac­count for 25% of global cases

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Agen­cies

NEW YORK: Con­firmed coro­n­avirus dis­ease (Covid-19) cases across the globe surged past 10 mil­lion, a chill­ing re­minder that the dead­li­est pan­demic of the mod­ern era is stronger than ever.

It took four months after the pathogen first sur­faced in the Chi­nese city of Wuhan to reach 1 mil­lion in­fec­tions.

The spread of the coro­n­avirus has steadily ac­cel­er­ated, com­press­ing the time frame to a mil­lion ad­di­tional cases ev­ery week now. And the lat­est mile­stone may serve only as a rel­a­tive marker, as many be­lieve the true num­ber of in­fec­tions to be higher given the dif­fi­culty of track­ing in­fec­tions.

The daily of­fi­cial count reached 150,000 cases in midJune, prompt­ing the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion to warn that the pan­demic has en­tered “a new and dan­ger­ous phase.”

The death toll is equally sober­ing, at al­most 500,000, and some health of­fi­cials pre­dict 1 mil­lion fa­tal­i­ties may not be far off.

“We haven’t seen the end of Covid-19, and we haven’t seen the full scope of it yet, ei­ther,” said Ali Mok­dad, pro­fes­sor of health met­rics sciences at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton in Seat­tle.

The epi­cen­tre of the coro­n­avirus is con­tin­u­ally shift­ing. First it was China, then Europe -- and now Brazil, Rus­sia and In­dia are among those adding thou­sands new cases daily.

Since late March, the US has had the most cases glob­ally and is still adding in­fec­tions at a record daily pace as a resur­gence over­whelms states like Texas, Ari­zona and Florida.

BEI­JING:Global coro­n­avirus cases ex­ceeded 10 mil­lion on Sun­day, mark­ing a ma­jor mile­stone in the spread of the res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease that has so far killed al­most half a mil­lion peo­ple in seven months.

The fig­ure is roughly dou­ble the num­ber of se­vere in­fluenza ill­nesses recorded an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Some coun­tries are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a resur­gence in in­fec­tions, lead­ing au­thor­i­ties to par­tially re­in­state lock­downs, in what ex­perts say could be a re­cur­ring pat­tern in the com­ing months and into 2021.

North Amer­ica, Latin Amer­ica and Europe each ac­count for around 25% of global cases, while Asia and the Mid­dle East have around 11% and 9% re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to the Reuters tally, which uses gov­ern­ment re­ports.

The pan­demic has now en­tered a new phase, with In­dia and Brazil bat­tling out­breaks of over 10,000 cases a day, putting a ma­jor strain on re­sources.

The two coun­tries ac­counted for over a third of all new cases in the past week. Brazil re­ported a record 54,700 new cases on June 19. Some re­searchers said the death toll in Latin Amer­ica could rise to over 380,000 by Oc­to­ber, from around 100,000 this week.

The to­tal num­ber of cases con­tin­ued to in­crease at a rate of be­tween 1-2% a day in the past week, down from rates above 10% in March.

Fa­tal­i­ties in Iran crossed 10,500 on Sun­day as the coun­try recorded 144 deaths from the virus overnight, its high­est num­ber of deaths in a sin­gle day since April 5. Known in­fec­tions rose to 222,669 with 2,489 new cases in the past 24 hours, up slightly from 2,456 the day be­fore.

The surge in the num­ber of deaths came as Iran plans to make wear­ing face masks manda­tory in in­door and crowded spots for two weeks start­ing July 5, Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani said with­out elab­o­rat­ing on the pun­ish­ment for vi­o­lat­ing the rule.

Sin­ga­pore will al­low sev­eral tourist at­trac­tions in­clud­ing the city’s two casi­nos to restart op­er­a­tions from July 1. Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Sin­ga­pore and the Sin­ga­pore

A man rides a bike past a mu­ral in Ci­u­dad Juarez, Mex­ico.

Zoo can also re­open, ac­cord­ing to a statement from the tourism board.

Most at­trac­tions will be re­stricted to no more than 25% of their op­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity at any one time for now, while ac­cess to the casi­nos will be lim­ited to ex­ist­ing mem­bers and an­nual levy hold­ers. The coun­try re­ported 213 in­fec­tions on Sun­day.

Au­thor­i­ties in Zurich have or­dered a quar­an­tine on 300 night­club-go­ers after five peo­ple tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19 and were found to have been in­fected by one per­son at the club on Satur­day, Swiss news­pa­per NZZ am Son­ntag re­ported.

Night clubs and dis­cos were al­lowed to re­open on June 6 and a ban lim­it­ing events of more than 300 peo­ple was loos­ened on June 22 to al­low larger clubs to have up to 1,000 peo­ple.

Re­turn­ing trav­ellers to Vic­to­ria in Aus­tralia who refuse to com­ply with test­ing will be re­quired to re­main in quar­an­tine for a fur­ther 10 days, tak­ing their to­tal pe­riod of iso­la­tion to 24 days to en­sure they pose no risk of in­tro­duc­ing the virus to the com­mu­nity, the Vic­to­rian state gov­ern­ment said Sun­day.

Premier Daniel An­drews said some hot-spot sub­urbs could also be put back into lock­down if nec­es­sary to con­tain the out­break.

South Korea has con­firmed 62 ad­di­tional cases of the coro­n­avirus over a 24-hour pe­riod as the Asian coun­try con­tin­ues to face new clus­ters of in­fec­tions amid eased so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules.

The ad­di­tional cases re­ported on Sun­day took the coun­try’s to­tal to 12,715, with 282 deaths.

The Korea Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion says 40 of the newly re­ported cases were do­mes­ti­cally in­fected, while the other 22 came from over­seas. It says 26 of the 40 do­mes­tic cases were de­tected in the densely pop­u­lated Seoul met­ro­pol­i­tan area.

South Korea has been strug­gling to sup­press a spike in new cases since it eased curbs in May.

REUTERS

Peo­ple pre­pare to go tub­ing on Salt River in Ari­zona on Satur­day even as cases con­tinue to rise in the United States.

AFP

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