Global coronavirus death toll passes one million

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Global coronavirus death toll passes one million

Sunday, September 27, 2020

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PARIS, France (AFP) - The global death toll from the new coronavirus, which emerged less than a year ago in China and has swept across the world, passed one 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 four 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 an AFP tally using 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 IMF earlier this year warned that the economic upheaval could cause a "crisis like no other" as the world's GDP 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.


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