Global COVID-19 death toll passes 3,000 | Daily News


 

Global COVID-19 death toll passes 3,000

Workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China’s Hebei Province. - AFP
Workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China’s Hebei Province. - AFP

CHINA: The global death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 on Monday after dozens more died at its epicentre in China and cases soared around the world, with a second fatality on US soil.

The virus has now infected more than 89,000 people and spread to over 60 countries after first emerging in China late last year.

A second person died in the northwestern US state of Washington as President Donald Trump, who has downplayed the risk of a major outbreak, faced criticism over his administration’s preparedness.

South Korea, the biggest nest of infections outside China, reported nearly 500 new cases on Monday, raising its total past 4,000 In China, the number of reported new cases has gradually been declining, and there were only six confirmed new infections outside Hubei.

The virus emerged late last year in Hubei in central China, but has now spread to more than 60 countries around the world.

The United States and Australia reported their first fatalities over the weekend, while infections nearly doubled in the past 48 hours in Italy, Europe’s hardest-hit country.

The World Health Organization said Sunday that the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illness. The agency noted that most people with the COVID-19 illness only experience mild symptoms, while around 14 percent suffer severe disease like pneumonia and five percent become critically ill.

It said the mortality rate in the outbreak appears to be between two and five percent.

The seasonal flu has an average mortality rate of about 0.1 percent but is highly infectious, with up to 400,000 people worldwide dying from it each year.

Other strains of coronavirus, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), have established mortality rates of 9.5 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively. - AFP


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