Sun, 01 Nov 2020

Nine months after the detection of the new coronavirus in China, the Covid-19 disease has claimed its millionth victim, according to a compilation of official figures from around the world on Monday.

Epidemics are rising in Europe, the Middle East and in Asia, namely in India, which recorded its 9 millionth case on Sunday.

The figure was reached late Sunday, according to AFP agency.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Sunday the toll could climb to 2 million before a vaccine is available.

The first epidemic of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, appeared in the province around the city of Wuhan, killing one thousand people within a month, a toll heavier than the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS.

By February, cases were appearing outside of China, first in the Philippines and then Japan. France confirmed its first case on 14 February.

When the WHO declared a pandemic on 11 March, Covid-19 had claimed 4,500 deaths in 30 countries.

First peak in April

Mortality continued to rise in Europe and the United States into April. Globally, the week of 13 to 19 April was the deadliest of the pandemic, with more than 7,400 deaths recorded each day.

Those epidemics waned in May and by June, Latin America was the new epicentre of the pandemic, reaching 2,500 deaths per day by mid-August.

With over 200,000, the United States has the highest official death toll to date, followed by Brazil with more than 138,000.

Latin American countries Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador and European nations Belgium and Spain are part of the list of 10 countries with the highest per capita tolls.

Cases climbing in Eurasia

Initially spared the worst of the outbreaks, Asia has seen a gradual increase in cases since April and has regularly registerd more than 1,000 deaths per day since 20 July.

India is the most affected country, with more than 1,100 deaths per day last week and an overall total mortality around 90,000.

Epidemics are accelerating in several European countries, including France, with 20 percent more new cases and 28 percent more deaths than the previous week.

Middle East states registered 330 deaths last week, 18 percent more than the previous week.

Africa mostly spared so far

Africa, the epicentre of the AIDS, the only other pandemic currently declared by the WHO, has largely been spared from Covid-19 so far.

Official figures show deaths on the continent have declined to less than 200 per day after a peak of about 400 per day in early August.

In Oceania, the number of daily deaths has rarely exceeded around 20.

Globally, the mortality curve has plateaued since early June, with about 5,000 deaths per day.

(with newswires)

Orginally published on RFI

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