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Coronavirus pandemic: Latest COVID-19 updates from around the world today

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the world like never before. Here are some updates on the COVID-19 cases and death toll from around the globe today.

Global COVID-19 cases top 5.8 mn: Johns Hopkins

Photo: IANS


The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 5.8 million, while the deaths have increased to more than 360,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Friday morning, the total number of cases stood at 5,808,672, while the death toll increased to 360,289, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

Currently, the US has 1,721,479 confirmed cases and 101,573 deaths, both tallies account for the highest in the world, according to the CSSE.

Meanwhile in terms of cases, Brazil comes in the second place with 438,238 infections.

This was followed by Russia (379,051), the UK (270,508), Spain (237,906), Italy (231,906), France (186,384), Germany (182,196), India (165,386), Turkey (160,979), Iran (143,849), and Peru (141,779), the CSSE figures showed.

Regarding fatalities, the UK continues in the second position after the US with 37,919 COVID-19 deaths, the highest fatalities in Europe.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are Italy (33,142), France (28,665), Spain (27,119), and Brazil (26,754).

S.Korea reports 58 more COVID-19 cases, 11,402 in total

South Korea COVID-19
Photo: IANS


South Korea reported 58 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago as of 12 midnight on Friday (local time), raising the total number of infections to 11,402.

The daily caseload rose sharply for the past three days, recording 79 on Thursday and 40 on Wednesday each.

A new cluster infection was found at a logistics centre of local e-commerce operator Coupang in Bucheon, just west of the capital Seoul, Xinhua reported.

At least 90 patients have been traceable to the distribution centre in just five days since the first relevant case was confirmed on May 23.

Of the new cases, three were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,235.

No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 269. The total fatality rate stood at 2.36 per cent.

A total of 23 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 10,363. The total recovery rate was 90.9 per cent.

Since January 3, the country has tested more than 885,000 people, among whom 849,161 tested negative for the virus and 24,557 are being checked

Italy: Over 150,000 COVID-19 recoveries, death toll at 33,142

Italy COVID-19
Photo: IANS


The novel coronavirus infection trend continued downward in Italy as the number of recoveries jumped by 3,503 on Thursday, bringing the total to 150,604, the Civil Protection Department said.

Meanwhile, another 70 people died, bringing the death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to 33,142 on Thursday.

The total active infections stood at 47,986, down by 2,980 from Wednesday, according to the department, Xinhua reported.

The Lombardy region, where the pandemic officially first broke out in late February, still had the lion’s share of cases with 22,913 active infections.

At the other end of the spectrum was the northern Valle d’Aosta region in the Alps with 23 cases.

Of those who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, 489 are in intensive care, down by 16 compared to Wednesday, and 7,379 are hospitalized with symptoms, down by 350.

The rest — 40,118 people, or 84 per cent of those who tested positive — are isolated at home because they are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms.

The overall number of coronavirus infections, fatalities and recoveries has risen by 593 to 231,732 over the past 24 hours.

As the pandemic visibly slowed down in recent weeks, Italy further eased the lockdown on May 18. Shops, restaurants, bars, barbershops, beauty salons, museums, and beachfront operators were all allowed to reopen, provided that they respect rules for social distancing and disinfect facilities.

Israel reports 79 new COVID-19 cases, highest since May 2

Israel’s Ministry of Health has reported 79 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise since May 2. The total number of coronavirus cases in Israel reached 16,872, while the number of recoveries increased by 109 to 14,679.

The death toll from the virus rose to 284, with three new deaths reported, while the number of patients in serious condition dropped from 41 to 37, out of 106 patients currently hospitalized.

The ministry said on Thursday that it considered new steps to deal with the unusual increase in new infections with the deadly respiratory disease, Xinhua reported.

The ministry also urged the public not to be complacent, and strictly follow the guidelines on taking precautionary measures, including wearing face masks, ensuring hygiene and keeping social distance.

“The mood that the coronavirus pandemic behind us is wrong,” the ministry added.

Part of the increase in coronavirus cases is related to a high school in Jerusalem, where 11 students and seven staff members were tested positive in recent days.

As a result, the school was closed, and by Sunday, coronavirus testing for all 1,400 students and staff is scheduled to be completed.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel’s ministries of higher education, education and health announced that universities and colleges will reopen on Sunday, under restrictions.

France to further ease lockdown as COVID-19 situation improves

France COVID-19
Photo: IANS


France will further unwind anti-coronavirus lockdown from June 2, lifting 100-km travel restriction and allowing non-essential businesses, parks and beaches to reopen, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Thursday.

The last three weeks of the first phase of deconfinement had “good results,” Philippe told a press meeting. “During this phase 2, freedom will become the rule again and bans will be the exception.”

The prime minister, however, warned that “the virus is still present at different speeds throughout the territory.” He stressed that high vigilance was recommended in Paris and Ile-de-France region and two overseas departments of Mayotte and Guiana where the virus was circulating faster that other zones, Xinhua reported.

Starting from next week, the order which forced people to stay within 100 kilometers of their homes will be lifted, but the ban on gathering of more than 10 people is maintained. Night clubs and stadiums will remain closed.

Restaurants, cafes and bars in low risk areas will be able to receive customers, providing they respect health protocol and social distancing. In Great Paris region, classified as “orange” zone, they can only open outside spaces to avoid a resurgence of the epidemic.

All the cities will also be allowed to reopen parks and public gardens. In “orange” zones, people should wear a mask when in parks and public gardens. Colleges and high schools will be able to reopen.

Access to beaches, monuments, museums, gymnasiums, swimming pools will be permitted, except in the capital and surrounding areas, which should wait for three more weeks.

From June 22, holiday resorts, cinemas can also open with strict respect of social distancing rules.

From June 15, France will open its borders to European visitors without imposing a two-week quarantine, Philippe added.

France has started to lift a national lockdown on May 11 by resuming gradually economic activities while ramping up tests and increasing vigilance to avoid the epidemic resurgence.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said the virus’ reproduction rate, known as the “R0” rate, was below 1 almost across the whole country. That means each person who caught the virus is infecting less than one person and so the epidemic is regressing.

“What determines this variable is you and your behaviour, social distancing, wearing of masks and other safety measures,” said Veran.

As of Thursday, France had 15,208 people hospitalized with the COVID-19, 472 down from a day before. The number of patients in intensive care fell by 72 to 1,429. Coronavirus-related fatalities increased by 66 to 28,662, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.

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