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April 8, 2020

COVID-19: Over 7,200 perish in a day

Top Story

April 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The global numbers for the novel coronavirus infections are growing rapidly and are clearly far from having reached the peak, an expert from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Tuesday.

Globally, the number of people diagnosed with the virus now exceeds 1.4 million. More than 81,500 people have died while over 300,000 have recovered, according to reports from international media.

The only way that the pandemic will be overcome is when everyone has immunity either from being exposed to the virus or taking a vaccine that provides the immunity, said Dr Gauden Galea, WHO representative in China, at a press conference.

"Until such a time, we are given what we might call the old-fashioned public health methods that have stood the test of time. We need to assess the risks at levels that range from at the top of country-level down to the individuals," he said, who called for "testing, testing and testing" to improve risk assessment and prevention measures such as hand washing and respiratory etiquette.

Active case finding and contact tracing, as well as the principle of early identification, reporting, isolation and treatment adopted by China, are also important to stemming the spread of the virus, according to Dr Galea.

He also stressed the attitude of solidarity and cooperation at national and international levels for the world to defeat the pandemic.

Meanwhile, France has become the fourth country to register more than 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus, while New York reported 731 new fatalities, the highest overnight jump since the beginning of the outbreak.

Spain on Tuesday recorded a slight increase in the daily death toll for the first time in five days, with 743 people succumbing overnight. Now the total death toll in Spain stands at 13,912, the third highest in the world after Italy and US that have reported over 17,000 and 12,500 deaths so far. Italy has reported over 600 overnight deaths, while the situation is even worse in the US with 1,690 new deaths.

Japan declared a state of emergency amid a spike in coronavirus cases, as Singapore began a partial lockdown and other countries extended stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the disease.

New York reported its deadliest day in the coronavirus pandemic, with 731 new deaths in the state to a total of 5,489 fatalities even as Governor Andrew Cuomo said that hospitalisations appeared to be reaching a plateau.

The death count for April 6 of 731 marked an increase from the prior day’s 599 new deaths, Cuomo told a daily briefing on the coronavirus.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed with coronavirus late last month, was moved to intensive care in a London hospital after his condition worsened on Monday evening. The death toll in UK has crossed 6,000 mark with 786 new deaths.

Turkey’s has announced 3,892 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking it total number of infections to 34,109.

The death toll rose by 76 to 725 while to the number of recoveries stood at 256, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference.

Qatar reported 225 new coronavirus cases, taking its total number of infections to 2,057, according to the country’s public health ministry.

It said the death toll rose by two to six, adding that 150 have so far recovered.

The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 641, the country’s public health agency said, rising from 584 people on Monday. The number of positive tests also increased to 22,242 people from 21,652 on Monday, it said.

Sweden on Tuesday reported another 114 coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 591 in a country that has adopted a softer approach to containing the outbreak than some of its European neighbours.

Sweden´s Public Health Agency said it had recorded a total of 7,693 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country of around 10 million people. It reported 114 new deaths on Tuesday, an uptick from preceding daily tolls, but cautioned that some of the fatalities occurred in previous days.

Saudi Arabia´s health minister on Tuesday warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within the coming weeks, state media reported.

“Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah.

China reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures in January, just a day before it will lift curbs on travel out of the contagion´s epicentre city of Wuhan. Cases on the mainland have been dwindling since March, but the country faces a second wave of infections from overseas.

However, there are suspicions — denied by China — that Beijing continues to intentionally under-report the real number of deaths and infections.

China also announced all nationals returning from the US, Italy and Iran will have to provide daily updates on their health to a WeChat app for up to two weeks before their flights or be denied boarding.