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The global coronavirus death toll has passed 900,000 – just over 10 weeks since after 500,000 – as Donald Trump boasted that he had done an “amazing” job with regard to the virus.
Coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, which stand at more than 190,000, account for a fifth of the global total. The figure is equivalent to one death per 1,700 Americans.
If global deaths continued at the current rate, the toll is likely to pass 1 million before 1 October, 10 months after the World Health Organization was first informed of the first cases in Wuhan, China.
The number of cases worldwide is nearing 28 million.
Trump spoke to Fox News’s Sean Hannity late on Wednesday about an upcoming book by veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, which included revelations that the president knew the extent of the deadly coronavirus threat in February, but intentionally misled the public by deciding to “play it down”.
Trump told Hannity that his response to the pandemic was intended to avoid panic. “I said don’t panic [over the virus] … I’m a cheerleader for this country and I don’t want to see panic.
Trump also said the US had done an amazing job with regards to deaths: “If you look at our numbers, our fatality numbers compared to other countries, it’s amazing what we’ve done. We’ve been able to do something … that especially with the country the size we have, we’ve done an incredible job.”
The US has one of the highest fatality rates per 100,000 population, at 57.97.
As the Labor day weekend drew to a close earlier this week, Reuters reported that cases were rising in 22 US states. Three weeks earlier, cases were increasing in only three states; Hawaii, Illinois and South Dakota. Most of the 22 states where cases are now rising are in the less populated parts of the midwest and south.
Meanwhile, infections continue to rise rapidly across Europe. France has seen its second-highest one-day case total of the pandemic so far and hospitalisations are at a one-month high, as the Netherlands and Portugal both confirmed their highest daily infections since April.
Germany’s foreign ministry meanwhile has advised tourists against travelling to a batch of European destinations including Prague, Geneva, Dubrovnik and Corsica due to high coronavirus infection rates.
Other global developments include:
In Vatican City, Pope Francis was seen on Wednesday wearing a face mask for the first time since the start of the pandemic but took it off to chat to the faithful. The pontiff quickly removed the mask as he emerged from a car carrying him to one of his traditional general audiences.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including drug-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs”, pose far greater risks to human health than Covid-19, threatening to put modern medicine “back into the dark ages”, an Australian scientist has warned, ahead of a three-year study into drug-resistant bacteria in Fiji.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes a mass testing programme is the UK’s “only hope for avoiding a second national lockdown before a vaccine”, according to leaked official documents.
Source: The Guardian
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