Global COVID-19 cases breach 17 million mark;  world death toll at 667,361 and 9,759,200 recoveries



The COVID-19 pandemic has killed at least 667,361 people since the outbreak started in China in December 2019, said a tally from official sources compiled by Agence France-Presse on Thursday.

The report said at least 17,053,650 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of the number, at least 9,759,200 persons have recovered worldwide.

The numbers, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Several countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

In the Philippines, on Friday, cases surged to 93,354 after a record-high 4,063 new infections were recorded by the Department of Health (DOH).

The Philippines has started using a new way of tagging of COVID-19 patients.

The Philippine government said that the new tagging is accepted by the WHO, a reason why there was a surge in new cases in the country.

On Wednesday, 6,687 new deaths and 285,318 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were Brazil with 1,595 new deaths, followed by United States with 1,267, and India with 775.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 150,716 deaths from 4,427,493 cases. At least 1,389,425 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 90,134 deaths from 2,552,265 cases, United Kingdom with 45,961 deaths from 301,455 cases, Mexico with 45,361 deaths from 408,449 cases, and Italy with 35,129 deaths from 246,776 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Britain with 68, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Peru 57.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 84,165 cases (105 new since Wednesday), including 4,634 deaths (0 new), and 78,957 recoveries.

Europe overall has 209,358 deaths from 3,135,632 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 191,827 deaths from 4,632,894 infections, the United States and Canada 159,664 deaths from 4,542,739 cases, Asia 60,775 deaths from 2,697,189 cases, Middle East 26,666 deaths from 1,134,152 cases, Africa 18,851 deaths from 893,051 cases, and Oceania 220 deaths from 17,994 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours might not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said countries should gradually lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritize essential travel for emergencies.

The WHO recommends that priority should be given to essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, and repatriation, it said in a statement.

A surge of new infections around the world has forced many countries to re-impose some travel restrictions in recent days.

The WHO has now urged each country to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of its own and decide on its priorities, before resuming international travel.

Earlier this week, the WHO said that bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders.

It said last month that it would update its travel guidelines ahead of the northern hemisphere summer holidays.

Earlier in July, the organization urged travelers to wear masks on planes and keep themselves informed as COVID-19 cases surge again in some countries.

The WHO’s previous guidance for travelers has included common-sense advice applicable to other settings such as social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth./Stacy Ang with reports from AFP and Reuters


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