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More than 52 million people have contracted COVID-19 globally and 1, 297,923 have died from the pandemic.
November is on track to be the worst month of the pandemic so far in the US as new cases and hospitalisations continue to surge to record highs. There were 143,231 new cases and 2,005 deaths in the US on Wednesday, according to figures recorded by Johns Hopkins University. It marked the ninth consecutive day of cases topping 100,000 and a new record for daily cases. It comes after the country recorded more than a million cases in the first 10 days of November. Total cases in the US have now reached over 10.8m and 248,403 people have died, the highest totals in the world.
The European Union expressed hope Wednesday that it could start vaccinating people against the novel coronavirus as early as next year, as Italy recorded more than one million cases and Britain said its death toll has surpassed the 50,000 mark. And in Spain, the death toll surged over 40,000 with infections passing the 1.4 million mark as the rate of new cases continued to grow, health ministry data showed.
And in Europe, which has suffered more than 317,525 deaths from 13,339,600 infections, many countries are struggling with a surging second wave. Greece, already under lockdown, announced on Wednesday that a curfew would additionally come into effect from Friday in a bid to curb the spread of the virus and ease pressure on its strapped hospitals.
The United Kingdom reported 33 470 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily total to date, as the government struggles to control a second wave of infections. The death toll in Britain is higher than the other worst-affected countries in Europe. The number of people killed by coronavirus is only higher in the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico. The government also reported 563 new deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, down slightly from 595 the previous day. By the same method of measurement, more than 50 000 people in Britain have died in total. The number of infections rose sharply in October with double the number of cases reported by the end of the month compared to the beginning ahead of the reintroduction of the latest national lockdown, according to a study on Thursday.
France reported 35 879 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total to 1.86 million, overtaking Russia and making France the worst affected country in the European region. With a total of 1 865 538 confirmed cases, France is the fourth-worst affected country in the world for novel coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally. France is almost two weeks into a new national lockdown and the health ministry’s new case tally was up from the 22 180 reported on Tuesday but remained well below the record high of 86 852 reported on Saturday.
Italy surpassed the one-million infections mark on Wednesday, leap-frogging Mexico to become one of the top 10 worst-affected countries.
South Africa has recorded 2 338 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases to date to 744 732. The country has also recorded 65 new COVID-19 related fatalities in the last cycle. This brings the total number of deaths to 20 076. Recoveries now stand at 690 903 which translates to a recovery rate of 92.7%.
Morocco remains the only country in Africa which has been reporting cases over 5, 000 as the country recorded 6,196 cases. The country has been witnessing a surge in cases of the pandemic. 64 new deaths were recorded to bring the total death toll to 4,570.
In what is poised to be the second wave in Zimbabwe, 29 new cases were recorded yesterday after having 59 cases yesterday. The peak of the second wave is expected in December. No new death was recorded hence the death toll still remains at 255. Recovered cases of the virus are at 8,060 and the recovery rate is at 92,7%.
COVID-19 fatality rate down 30% since April: Study
The likelihood that a coronavirus infection will prove fatal has dropped by nearly a third since April due to improved treatment, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said on Thursday. In the United States, COVID-19 now kills about 0.6% of people infected with the virus, compared with around 0.9% early in the pandemic, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray told Reuters. He said statistics reflect that doctors have figured out better ways to care for patients, including the use of blood thinners and oxygen support. Effective treatments, such as the generic steroid dexamethasone, have also been identified. Reuters
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