Coronavirus death toll reaches 500,000 worldwide

Global fatalities rise by 100,000 in just three weeks

Vincent Wood
Sunday 28 June 2020 23:14
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People listen to Cardinal Timothy Dolan as he celebrates a mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on 28 June. The US has the highest of any national death toll worldwide.
People listen to Cardinal Timothy Dolan as he celebrates a mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on 28 June. The US has the highest of any national death toll worldwide.

Half a million people have now died with coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The grim total was reached on the same day the total number of known infections worldwide passed 10 million. Five million people have recovered from the disease.

It comes just 21 days after the number of total deaths compiled by the university’s tracker reached 400,000. At the time global cases stood at 7 million.

The true death toll from the virus, which first emerged in China late last year, is believed to be significantly higher. Experts say that especially early on, many victims died of Covid-19 without being tested for it.

Around once in four fatalities counted in the global tally - more than 125,000 – have been reported in the US, where cases continue to grow in states including Mississippi, Texas and Florida.

In Texas, where more than 149,000 infections have been confirmed, the state’s governor Greg Abbott acknowledged the virus had “taken a very swift and very dangerous turn” after he allowed businesses to reopen in May. On Friday the state once again shut down bars and restaurants while banning some elective surgeries.

Vice president Mike Pence, who spoke at an event alongside Mr Abbott on Sunday, added: ”Wear a mask, wherever it’s indicated or wherever you’re not able to practice the kind of social distancing that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

The country with the next highest death toll is Brazil, with more than 57,000, or about one in nine of the world’s fatalities.

The nation’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly downplayed the risk of the virus – and last week was compelled by a judge to wear a mask while out in public spaces.

The two nations are followed by the UK with more than 43,000 fatalities, Italy with more than 34,000 and France with more than 29,000.

Having been the worst afflicted nations when Europe was an epicentre for the pandemic, all three have since almost entirely lifted lockdown measures.

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