Global Covid count crosses 5 mn

New hotspots emerge in Latin America, Africa | SA may see 50K deaths by end of year

Global Covid count crosses 5 mn

banking on aid Serpentine queues of people waiting to receive aid in Pretoria hint at the severity of Covid crisis South Africa. Infections in Africa touched 98,930 on Thursday. Reuters

London/JOHANNESBURG, May 21

The number of Covid-19 patients crossed the 5 million mark today, with the death toll of 3,27,383 across the world. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December.

While, the US and Europe have been the worst hit so far, new hotspots have emerged over the past couple of weeks. Latin America has overtaken the United States and Europe in the past week to report the largest portion of new daily coronavirus cases globally, representing a new phase in the virus’ spread. Brazil’s outbreak worsened on Wednesday and the South American nation could soon have the second-highest number of cases in the world. in Peru, too, there has been a spike in cases and the number of confirmed cases surpassed 1,04,000 on Wednesday.

Several African countries, too, have seen a surge in the number of cases. South Africa could see up to 50,000 coronavirus deaths and as many as 3 million infections by the end of the year, scientific models showed on Thursday.

Cape Town has become the center of the COVID-19 outbreak in SA and one of Africa’s hot spots. The popular tourist destination at the southern tip of Africa had more than 12,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday, representing 63% of South Africa's 19,000 cases and about 10% of Africa’s 95,000 cases.

According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the African continent needs to test about 10 times the number of people it has already tested for the coronavirus. Director of the body, John Nkengasong says Africa should strive to test at least 1% of the population of 1.3 billion people, or 13 million people, but so far 1.3 million to 1.4 million tests have been conducted.

Africa’s number of virus cases is above 95,000 and could surpass 1,00,000 by the weekend.

Countries with fragile health systems and a recent history of conflict like Somalia and South Sudan, however, remain “very concerning” as cases rise quickly. Somalia has reported more than 1,500 cases but aid groups worry the real number is far higher. —Agencies


Indian-origin doctor dies in New York

New York: An Indian-origin physician succumbed to coronavirus, American Physicians of Indian-Origin (AAPI) said. Sudheer S Chauhan was diagnosed

Sudheer S Chauhan

with Covid and was battling for his life for the past few weeks. He died of complications from the illness on May 19, AAPI's Media Coordinator Ajay Ghosh said on Wednesday. Chauhan was an Internal Medicine Physician and Associate Programme Director IM Residency Program at Jamaica Hospital in New York.


IRAN 10K medics infected

Dubai: As many as 10,000 Iranian health workers have been infected with the new coronavirus, the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted a deputy health minister as saying on Thursday. Health services are stretched thin in Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the respiratory pandemic, with 7,249 deaths and a total of 129,341 infections. The Health Ministry said in April that over 100 health workers had died of COVID-19.


Catastrophe ‘unfolding’ in south Yemen

Dubai: The main coronavirus treatment centre in southern Yemen has recorded at least 68 deaths in just over two weeks, the medical charity running the site said on Thursday, more than double the toll announced by Yemeni authorities so far. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the dedicated COVID-19 centre in Aden that serves the entire south admitted 173 patients from April 30 to May 17, at least 68 of whom died, suggesting "a wider catastrophe unfolding in the city". "What we are seeing in our treatment centre is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of people infected and dying in (Aden)," Caroline Seguin, MSF's operations manager for Yemen, said in a statement.

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