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Poonam Singh

Washington: The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 73.7 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.70 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 77,335,442 and 1,701,656, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 18,029,528 and 319,354, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 10,055,560, while the country's death toll soared to 145,810.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (7,263,619), Russia (2,850,042), France (2,535,716), the UK (2,079,678), Turkey (2,043,704), Italy (1,964,054), Spain (1,819,249), Argentina (1,547,138), Germany (1,534,218), Colombia (1,518,067), Mexico (1,325,915), Poland (1,207,333) and Iran (1,164,535), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 187,291.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (118,598), Italy (69,214), the UK (67,718), France (61,019), Iran (53,816), Russia (50,723), Spain (49,260), Argentina (41,997), Colombia (40,680), Peru (37,103), Germany (26,656), Poland (25,474), South Africa (24,907) and Indonesia (20,085).

Africa's confirmed Covid-19 cases pass 2.5 million

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the African continent reached 25,08,815 as of Monday as the death toll due to the pandemic climbed to 59,099, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The continental disease control and prevention agency said in a statement that a total of 21,08,302 people infected with Covid-19 had recovered across the continent as of Monday afternoon, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia, figures from the Africa CDC showed.

South Africa had the most Covid-19 infections, with 9,21,922 cases. The country also had the highest number of deaths related to Covid-19, at 24,691.

Morocco came next with 4,17,125 confirmed cases and 6,957 deaths, followed by Egypt with 1,25,555 confirmed cases and 7,098 deaths, the Africa CDC said.

Ethiopia, East Africa's most Covid-19 affected country and Africa's fourth most-affected country, has so far 1,19,951 confirmed cases and 5,373 Covid-19-inflicted deaths, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

As the African continent witnesses new spikes in Covid-19 cases and deaths, the African Union (AU) Commission has recently called on its member states to prioritise rollout of rapid antigen testing as part of an urgent effort to increase national Covid-19 testing capacity and better manage the pandemic, towards achieving test positivity rates of less than 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, as the African continent envisaged for global partnership towards adequate access to Covid-19 vaccines, a newly published Africa CDC survey revealed the predominant majority of Africans would take a Covid-19 vaccine if it were deemed safe and effective.

UK records another 33,364 coronavirus cases, 215 deaths

Another 33,364 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 20,73,511, according to official figures released on Monday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 215 to 67,616, the data showed.

The figures were revealed as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a virtual news conference at Downing Street later Monday after an emergency COBRA meeting, the Xinhua news agency reported.

He is likely to address the travel restrictions being imposed on British travelers, disruption at the border and the tougher measures implemented over the weekend amid grave concerns over a new strain of coronavirus, according to media reported.

Earlier, Professor Andrew Hayward of the government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said that Britons should be "very concerned" about the mutated strain of Covid-19.

"If the vaccine is the best news, this is the worst news we've had so far, and we really, really need to tighten down the hatches to stop the spread of this strain while vaccinating as many people as possible," he said.

Johnson on Saturday announced the new Tier Four restrictions for London and some 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.

(With IANS Inputs)

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