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Montevideo, October 28th 2020 - 09:13 UTC

 

 

Coronavirus global death toll passed one million on Saturday

Monday, September 28th 2020 - 09:20 UTC
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On Sunday the disease had claimed 1,000,009 victims from 33,018,877 recorded infections On Sunday the disease had claimed 1,000,009 victims from 33,018,877 recorded infections

The global death toll from the novel coronavirus, which emerged less than a year ago in China and has swept across the world, passed 1 million on Sunday. The pandemic has ravaged the global economy, inflamed geopolitical tensions, and upended lives, from Indian slums and Brazil's jungles to America's biggest city New York.

World sports, live entertainment and international travel ground to a halt as fans, audiences and tourists were forced to stay at home, kept inside by strict measures imposed to curb the virus spread.

Drastic controls that put half of humanity – more than 4 billion people – under some form of lockdown by April at first slowed its pace, but since restrictions were eased cases have soared again.

On Sunday the disease had claimed 1,000,009 victims from 33,018,877 recorded infections, according to a tally based on official sources. The United States has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

With scientists still racing to find a working vaccine, governments are again forced into an uneasy balancing act: Virus controls slow the spread of the disease, but they hurt already reeling economies and businesses.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this year warned that the economic upheaval could cause a “crisis like no other” as the world's gross domestic product collapsed.

Europe, hit hard by the first wave, is now facing another surge in cases, with Paris, London and Madrid all forced to introduce controls to slow cases threatening to overload hospitals.

Masks and social distancing in shops, cafes and public transport are now part of everyday life in many cities. Mid-September saw a record rise in cases in most regions and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned virus deaths could even double to 2 million without more global collective action.

“One million is a terrible number and we need to reflect on that before we start considering a second million,” the WHO's emergencies director Michael Ryan told reporters on Friday.

Are we prepared collectively to do what it takes to avoid that number?

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