Monday, January 24, 2022

Coronavirus Worldwide Cases Hit 13 million With 570,000 Deaths In 210 Countries

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The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has topped 13 million with 210 countries and territories infected by the deadly bug.

More than 13 .14 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 571,854 have died, according to a tally.

The first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The UK sits sixth in the world for the number of virus cases reported, behind the likes of the US, Brazil, India, Russia and Peru.

It comes after the World Health Organisation warned the pandemic will worsen if governments fail to provide a clear and comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday there would be “no return to the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future” and that “too many countries were headed in the wrong direction”.

His stark message came as 230,000 Covid-19 cases were reported to the WHO on Sunday, with almost 80% occurring in 10 countries and 50% in just two.

While health experts have warned up to 120,000 people could die during a worst-case scenario if a potentially more deadly second wave strikes Britain in the winter.

Stephen Holgate, a professor and co-lead author of a report by Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), said a second outbreak “could be more serious than the one we’ve just been through”.

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“This is not a prediction, but it is a possibility,” Holgate told an online briefing on Tuesday.

The AMS said there is a “high degree of uncertainty” about how the UK’s epidemic will evolve, but outlined a “reasonable worst-case scenario” where the reproduction number- or R value – rises to 1 .7 from September 2020 onwards.

Australian states, meanwhile, have tightened restrictions on movement as authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak in the country’s southeast that is starting to spill into other areas.

With growing fears of a second coronavirus wave nationally, two states extended border restrictions and Australia’s most populous state imposed limits on the number of people allowed in large pubs.

The changes come as scores of new cases were uncovered in Victoria, the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, despite a return to lockdown last week for nearly 5 million people in state capital Melbourne.

Similarly, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered a massive retrenchment of the state’s optimistic reopening, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide and closing churches, gyms and hair salons in hardest-hit counties.

The west coast state has recorded 331,626 cases of coronavirus, along with 7,045 deaths.

And Portugal’s government said on Monday five areas on the outskirts of Lisbon will remain under a partial lockdown put in place two weeks ago to tackle a worrying wave of coronavirus cases.
Photo Credit: Getty

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