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Poonam Singh

Washington: The total number of global covid-19 cases has topped 77.9 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.71 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Wednesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 77,958,369 and 1,715,945, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 18,217,390 and 322,589, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 10,075,116, while the country's death toll soared to 146,111.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (7,318,821), Russia (2,878,382), France (2,547,577), the UK (2,116,608), Turkey (2,062,960), Italy (1,977,370), Spain (1,829,903), Argentina (1,555,279), Germany (1,556,708), Colombia (1,530,593), Mexico (1,338,426), Poland (1,214,525) and Iran (1,170,743), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 188,259.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (119,495), Italy (69,842), the UK (68,409), France (61,821), Iran (54,003), Russia (51,274), Spain (49,520), Argentina (42,254), Colombia (40,931), Peru (37,173), Germany (27,590), Poland (25,783), South Africa (25,246) and Indonesia (20,257).

UK records highest daily number of coronavirus cases

Another 36,804 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, marking the highest daily increase of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in the country, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,110,314, the data showed.

Another 691 people have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 68,307, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The figures were revealed amid grave concerns over the fast spread of a new coronavirus strain in Britain, which is said to be about 70 per cent more transmissible.

Thousands of cases of the more infectious variant of coronavirus have been detected across Britain, indicating that the new strain had clearly spread beyond areas under the toughest Tier Four restrictions, The Guardian newspaper reported.

"It is certainly not the case that this is just completely geographically constrained in what is the current Tier Four area," said Jeffrey Barrett, a statistical geneticist working on Covid-19 at the Wellcome Trust's Sanger Institute near Cambridge.

More than 40 countries have imposed travel restrictions on travelers from Britain amid fears of the new virus strain.

France has closed its border with Britain for 48 hours, with no lorries or ferry passengers able to sail from the port of Dover. A deal to resume travel with France following the shutdown could come later on Tuesday, according to Sky News.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced the new Tier Four restrictions for London and other parts of England to combat an alarming surge in infections linked to the new virulent strain. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the new virus strain is "out of control" in Britain.

Thailand reports 427 new Covid-19 cases

Covid-19 cases continued to rise in Thailand on Tuesday, up by 427 from the previous day, with a majority of them being connected to a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province near the capital Bangkok.

Of the new cases, 397 were reported in Myanmar migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, where the latest Covid-19 outbreak was first detected, the Xinhua news agency reported.

There were also 16 other local infections in connection with the seafood market in Samut Sakhon, and 14 imported cases, the Center for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said.

The recent case spikes came after a 67-year-old Thai woman vendor at the seafood market was confirmed being infected last week.

The latest outbreak has brought Thailand's total tally of confirmed cases to 5,716 with 60 deaths, Taweesin said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Tuesday he will meet with the CCSA and announce "additional regulations that may be appropriate for the evolving situation."

While giving a televised speech, Prayut called for more caution with more relaxed rules for letting people from other countries into Thailand and keeping up much stricter guard inside the country.

He attributed the flare-up of infections in Samut Sakhon to illegal immigrants, saying networks bringing illegal immigrants into Thailand must be "prosecuted without any leniency."

Russia adds 28,776 COVID-19 cases

Russia recorded 28,776 more COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from the record of 29,350 a day earlier, the country's COVID-19 response center said on Tuesday.

The national tally of COVID-19 cases has increased to 2,906,503, including 51,912 deaths and 2,319,520 recoveries, the center said.

Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, reported 7,237 new cases over the past day, taking the city's total caseload to 750,934, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Over 86.7 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country.

Moscow has begun expanding the list of individuals eligible for vaccinations, while the rest of the country's regions are starting a roll-out of mass injection programs.

(With IANS Inputs)

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