Coronavirus: Number of global cases rises above four million


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Experts warn the infections may actually be higher due to low testing rates in many countries

More than four million confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported around the world, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.

The global death toll has also risen to above 277,000.

The US remains the worst-hit country, accounting for the over a quarter of confirmed cases and a third of deaths.

Experts warn the true number of infections is likely to be far higher, with low testing rates in many countries skewing the data.

Daily death tolls are continuing to drop in some nations, including Spain, but there is concern that easing lockdown restrictions could lead to a “second wave” of infections.

In addition, governments are bracing for economic fallout as the pandemic hits global markets and supply chains.

In some of the biggest recent developments:

  • The UK government will proceed with “extreme caution” while exiting lockdown restrictions, according to the country’s transport secretary.
  • China’s president has expressed concern about the threat of the coronavirus to North Korea and offered help.
  • Billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk has said he will move the electric carmaker’s headquarters out of California because of local coronavirus restrictions.
  • Health officials in Ghana say more than 500 workers at an industrial facility have tested positive for coronavirus, while the total number of daily cases in the country has jumped by nearly 30% – just a day after authorities said the virus had reached its peak.

This week, some lockdown measures have begun easing in Italy, once the global epicentre of the pandemic. Italians have been able to exercise outdoors and visit family members in their region.

France has recorded its lowest daily number of coronavirus deaths for more than a month, with 80 deaths over the past 24 hours. Authorities are preparing to ease restrictions from Monday, as is the government in neighbouring Spain.

Meanwhile lockdowns are continuing in countries like South Africa, despite calls from opposition parties for it to end.

In South Korea, renewed restrictions are being imposed on bars and clubs after a series of transmissions linked to Seoul’s leisure district.

The leaders of several countries continue to express scepticism about the virus and the need for lockdowns.

In Belarus, thousands of soldiers marched to celebrate Victory Day, as President Alexander Lukashenko rejected calls for tougher measures.

British medical journal The Lancet has written a scathing editorial about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, calling him the biggest threat to his country’s ability to contain the spread of coronavirus. Brazil is currently reporting the highest number of cases in Latin America, but the president continues to dismiss the severity of coronavirus and has clashed with governors over lockdown measures.



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