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World Roundup: Global cases soar past a million; US posts highest death toll

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has soared past one million and deaths have topped 50,000 as the United States reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far.

READ: UK rushes to build field hospitals as  death toll rises

HOMAGE. The word “merci” (thank you in French) is displayed on the Eiffel Tower in a tribute to healthcare workers, security personnel and workers mobilized during a lockdown in France aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Paris. AFP
Despite more than half the planet living in some form of lockdown, the virus is continuing to spread rapidly, and to claim lives at an alarming pace, with the US, Spain and Britain all seeing their worst days yet.

The United States now accounts for around a quarter of all known infections around the globe, and its death toll is rocketing up.

100,000 body bags

about 6,000 people have died in the US outbreak, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, more than 1,100 of them in the last 24 hours.

White House experts say between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could ultimately die from the disease.

Disaster response agency FEMA on Thursday asked the US military for 100,000 body bags.

Around 85 percent of Americans are under some form of stay-at-home order.

In New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to cover their faces when outside and Vice President Mike Pence said there would be a recommendation on the use of masks by the general public in the next few days.

Economic losses may reach $4.1T

The coronavirus pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion, the Asian Development Bank warned on Friday.

The estimated impact is equivalent to nearly five percent of worldwide output based on a range of scenarios, but the lender said losses from “the worst pandemic in a century” could be higher.

“The estimated impact could be an underestimate, as additional channels such as...possible social and financial crises, and long-term effects on health care and education are excluded from the analysis,” the ADB said.

The Manila-based bank said a shorter containment period could pare the losses to $2 trillion.

Slowdown in Spain

Europe has been at the center of the crisis for weeks, but there have been signs that the epidemic could be approaching its peak there.

Spain and Britain saw record numbers of new deaths in a 24-hour period – 950 and 569 respectively.

Italy and Spain together account for almost half of the global death toll, but experts say the number of new infections in both countries is continuing to slow.

“The data show the curve has stabilized” and the epidemic has entered a “slowdown” phase, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said. 

READ: Warship head sacked over COVID leak

READ: Global virus cases top a million, deaths surpass 50,000

Topics: United States , Donald Trump , COVID-19 , Economic loss
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