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Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 59.72 million, death toll at 1,408,552
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 25 - 11 - 2020

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with more than 59 million (59,724,883) confirmed cases in 190 countries and about 1,408,522 deaths. The virus is surging in many regions and countries that had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks are also seeing infections rise again. North America is currently seeing the steepest rise in new cases.
With 257,690 deaths and over 12 million confirmed cases, the United States tops the list of 20 countries with the highest recorded infections and deaths in the world. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
The US has recorded more than 12 million cases and more than 250,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figures in the world. Daily cases have been at record levels since early November and there are now more than 88,000 people in hospital, more than in either of the two previous peaks of the pandemic.
North America is currently seeing the steepest rise in new cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that health workers and health systems "are being pushed to the breaking point".
But WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the latest positive news from a number of vaccine trials meant the "light at the end of this long, dark tunnel is growing brighter".
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged Americans to avoid travel for the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26 to reduce the risk of infection. The outbreak has had a devastating impact on the US economy, although there are now some signs it is recovering.
Daily cases have risen in many European countries since July. France has recorded more than two million cases; Spain, Italy and the UK have all recorded more than one million cases, with Germany also approaching one million, but all their numbers have either stabilized or started to fall in recent days.
WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said one person was dying from COVID-19 in Europe every 17 seconds.
Russia reported a record 507 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours on Wednesday, taking its national death toll to 37,538 since the pandemic began, Reuters reported. Authorities also confirmed 23,675 new cases of the virus, including 4,685 in Moscow, pushing the total number of infections to 2,162,503 since the start of the outbreak.
In Vienna, the total coronavirus infections in Austria reached 259,471 after 5,802 cases reported in the last 24 hours, said the Health Ministry on Wednesday. The Ministry said the number of deaths stood at 2,667. Around two million tests were conducted since the outbreak, and over 189,000 individuals have recovered from the viral infection.
Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron has said France will start to ease its strict national lockdown this weekend with the reopening of non-essential shops. The French president has also announced the easing of more COVID-19 restrictions, expected from mid-December, as long as new infections drop below 5,000 a day.
Macron has said the lockdown would be replaced by a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., with the exception of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, when people will be freer to visit family and loved ones. Bars, restaurants and sports facilities are to remain shut until at least the Jan. 20.
In Spain, Pedro Sanchez's government is to propose a somewhat different Christmas and New Year celebrations. According to draft proposals being circulated in the Spanish media, authorities plan to limit gatherings to six people in total. They are expected to recommend that office gatherings and similar celebrations in the run-up to the holidays are held on restaurant terraces or outside.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has told her state premiers that they need to come up with a cohesive and collective answer to deal with the restrictions. A draft proposal circulating in Berlin indicates that a mini-amnesty over the Christmas period might be implemented nationally from December 23rd to the 1st of January. Merkel has asked Germany's regional leaders to come up with a plan on which they can all agree on.
India said on Wednesday that 481 people died of COVID-19 while 44,376 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered from across the country in the past 24 hours. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the total deaths due to coronavirus rose to 134,699 while the total number of cases mounted to 9.22 million (9,222,216).
The ministry said that 8,642,771 people have recovered from the pandemic as it spread across 35 Indian states. India has the second-highest number of infections in the world, after the United States, but the rate of increase in India has dipped since it hit a peak in September.
In Tokyo, Japan reported 1,487 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, raising the nation's total number to 136,703, the Health Ministry and local authorities said. The country's cumulative death toll rose by 20 to, 2,021. Tokyo added 401 new cases, topping 400 for the first time in four days, which brought the total cases in the Japanese capital to 38,598.
In Latin America, Brazil has more than six million confirmed cases and the world's second highest death toll. There are concerns the country is now facing a second wave of infections. Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have also recorded more than one million cases. Peru is also approaching that milestone, although daily cases are falling.
Africa has recorded more than two million cases, although the true extent of the pandemic there is not known as testing rates are low. South Africa, with more than 770,000 cases and more than 21,000 deaths, is still the worst affected country on the continent. Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia are the only other African countries to officially record more than 100,000 cases. — Agencies

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