Global report: US Covid deaths near 200,000 as UK ‘heads in wrong direction’ | Coronavirus outbreak

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The US is nearing the stark milestone of 200,000 deaths, nine months after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as cases in the UK rose to a four-month high and Europe continued to see rising infections.

The number of deaths in the US, the highest in the world, stood at 199,509 on the Johns Hopkins University tracker on Monday morning, roughly a fifth of the global total. Nearly 6.8m of the world’s 30.1m infections are in the US.

US president Donald Trump has been accused of intentionally downplaying the dangers posed by Covid-19. He drew widespread criticism for his handling of the pandemic, but also of his response to the loss of life, saying in an interview in early August, when around 1,000 Americans a day were dying: “It is what it is.” Sunday’s US death toll was 689.

The virus has killed people of colour and immigrants (regardless of race) in the US at higher rates than their white and US-born counterparts. Among the dead are more than 1,000 healthcare workers.

The UK’s most senior government scientists will make a direct appeal to the public on Monday, warning that the coronavirus trend is “heading in the wrong direction” and “a critical point has been reached”. The warning comes after the UK reported 3,899 new cases on Sunday after four-month high of 4,422 on Saturday.

France again reported more than 10,000 cases in 24 hours, and in Spain, Madrid’s rate of transmission is more than double the national average, which already leads European contagion charts.

In Israel, which on Friday became the first country globally to return to a strict nationwide lockdown, thousands of protesters gathered on Sunday in Jerusalem to demand the resignation of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the first such demonstrations since the start of a new nationwide lockdown.

While the government was praised for its initial handling of the pandemic, implementing a strict lockdown in March, many Israelis have accused the government of bungling its crisis response since.

Australia’s coronavirus hotspot of Victoria reported its lowest daily rise in infections in three months on Monday, although state premier Daniel Andrews said there were no plans yet to ease restrictions sooner than expected.

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state and home to a quarter of the country’s 25 million people, reported 11 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the smallest one-day jump since 16 June. It also reported two deaths due to the virus.

The premier said his government would not accelerate a timetable for easing restrictions, which were imposed after daily case numbers topped 700 in early August.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, further eased restrictions on the country’s largest city, Auckland, and completely removed domestic restrictions on the rest of the nation, after zero new cases were reported.

The country has recorded a total of 1,464 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 25 deaths.

Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Global report: US Covid deaths near 200,000 as UK ‘heads in wrong direction’ | Coronavirus outbreak

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