Global Virus Fatalities Top 250,000
The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed a quarter of a million on Tuesday after infections exceeded 3.5 million worldwide.
North America and European countries accounted for most of the new deaths and cases recorded in recent days. Still, numbers were growing from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa, and Russia.
Globally, there were 3,914 new deaths and 75,646 new cases over the past 24 hours, bringing total deaths to 250,152 and cases to 3.59 million. At least 1.1 million people have recovered from the disease, according to official data.
That exceeds the estimated 140,000 deaths worldwide from measles in 2018 and contrasts with around 3 million to 5 million cases of severe sickness caused each year by seasonal influenza, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
While the current trajectory of COVID-19 drops far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which affected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of sufferers, specialists worry the available data is underplaying the real consequence of the pandemic.
The first death from COVID-19 was announced on January 10 in Wuhan, China, after the coronavirus first surfaced there in December. The number of deaths reported in a single day hit a height of 10,229 just a week ago on April 29. The rate of the regular rise in fatalities has slowed to 1%-2% in recent days from a high of 14% on March 21.
Mortality rates from registered infections vary significantly from country to country. Belgium has the highest fatality rate at 16% among countries with significant outbreaks. At the other end of the spectrum, Australia and New Zealand are at 1%. Britain is at 15%, Italy is at 14%, and the United States is at 6%, In Africa, Algeria has a 10% fatality rate.
Health experts are observing closely as several countries conditionally ease restrictions on movement in a bid to improve global economies, amid worries of recurring infections.
In the United States, which has the world’s most massive total of infections and deaths, at almost 1.2 million and 68,000, respectively, at least half of the 51 states are going forward with plans to revive stricken markets.
Italy, among the world’s hardest-hit countries, allowed about 4.5 million people to return to work on Monday after almost two months at home.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel, and Lebanon were also amongst countries inconsistently reopening factories, building sites, parks, hairdressers, and libraries.
In Europe, citizens basked in return to the outdoors, mixed with a dose of trepidation about life ahead and the economic devastation wreaked by lockdowns.
Workers banged away at construction sites in Rome, police gave out masks in Madrid, and older children returned to school in Vienna as Europeans cautiously stepped out of their homes.
Countries from India to Nigeria are exploring to ease curbs so that businesses can continue sailing, and workers earn a wage after the pandemic-induced economic crash.
But much of the world stays cautiously about lifting restrictions, with many countries still in the hold of an acceleration in infections, including Russia, which is adding more than 10,000 cases a day.