Global coronavirus fatalities top 200,000 with 2.8million confirmed infections
The global coronavirus death toll has now reached 200,000 with 2.8million confirmed infections.
John Hopkins University released the latest figures as some countries began taking their first steps into removing their lockdowns.
The true death toll is likely to be higher.
The US have started loosening their lockdown measures in Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska to help ease the economic damage inflicted on businesses despite the US death toll passing 50,000.
State governors allowed salons, spas and barbershops to reopen, while Alaska allowed restaurants to resume dine-in service and retail shops and other businesses to open their doors.
During a White House press briefing on Friday, President Donald Trump asked people to continue social distancing and use face masks.
Despite sounding optimistic about the American economy, Trump signed a $484billion (£391 billion) bill to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the pandemic.
Over the past five weeks, roughly 26 million people have filed for jobless aid in America.
Trump also said his comments suggesting people can inject disinfectant to fight Covid-19 were an attempt at sarcasm.
In Europe, Norway extended its ban on events until at least September 1 but Belgium have outlined plans to exit their lockdown.
It starts on May 4 with the resumption of non-essential treatment in hospitals and the reopening of textile and sewing shops to enable people to have face masks.
This will be followed on June 8 by bars and restaurants being reopened.
Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmes warned though that “nothing is set in stone”.
Spain will allow children outside to play on Sunday after 44 days but will not be allowed to play with other children.
Italy has said that free protective masks will be distributed to nursing homes, police, public officials and transport workers so that the bulk of their workforce are prepared to restart on May 4.
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Funeral home workers have been working since the lockdown though and Pope Francis asked people to pray for them: “What they do is so heavy and sad. They really feel the pain of this pandemic.”
The lockdown in France is expected to be lifted on May 11 with the health minister announcing plans to increase testing to contain the virus if it flares up again.
Brazil is close to becoming one of the world’s latest pandemic hotspots.
Medical officials in Rio de Janeiro and four other major cities warned that their hospital system is on the verge of collapse or already overwhelmed.
In Manaus, the biggest city in the Amazon, officials said a cemetery has been forced to dig mass graves because there have been so many deaths. Workers have been burying 100 corpses a day – triple the pre-virus average.
And in Asia India, easing restrictions meant reopening local stores that many of the country’s 1.3 billion people rely on for everything from cold drinks to mobile phone data cards.
However, the loosening did not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns and other places hit hardest by the outbreak that has killed at least 775 people in the country.
Shopping malls also remain closed nationwide.
Last week, India also allowed manufacturing and farming to resume in rural areas to ease the economic plight of millions of daily wage-earners left jobless by the lockdown imposed on March 24.
India’s restrictions have allowed people out of their homes only to buy food, medicine or other essentials.
Elsewhere in Asia, authorities reported no new deaths on Saturday for the 10th straight day in China, where the virus originated.
South Korea reported just 10 fresh cases, the eighth day in a row its daily total came below 20. There were no new deaths for the second straight day.
In Sri Lanka, however, the lockdown was tightened, not eased, confirming a pattern of one-step-forward, one-step-back also seen elsewhere in the pandemic, as authorities juggle public health against the health of shut-down economies.
Sri Lanka had partially lifted a month-long curfew during daytime hours in more than two-thirds of the country.
However, it reimposed a 24-hour lockdown countrywide after a surge of 46 new infections on Friday, the highest increase in a day on the Indian Ocean island. The new curfew remains in effect until Monday.
Source : Daily Mail