Global corona death toll passes 1 million

29 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

PARIS: More than one million people have died from the coronavirus, according to an AFP toll, with no let-up in a pandemic that has ravaged the world economy, inflamed diplomatic tensions and upended lives from Indian slums and Brazilian jungles to America’s biggest city.

Sports, live entertainment and international travel ground to a halt as fans, audiences and tourists were forced to stay at home under strict measures imposed to curb the contagion.

Drastic controls that put half of humanity—more than four billion people—under some form of lockdown by April at first slowed the spread, but since restrictions were eased, infections have soared again.

By 0630 GMT Monday, the disease had claimed 1,001,093 victims from 33,112,474 recorded infections, according to an AFP tally collected from official sources by journalists stationed around the world, and compiled by a dedicated team of data specialists. The United States has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

For Italian truck driver Carlo Chiodi, those figures include both his parents, whom he lost within days of each other.

“What I have a hard time accepting is that I saw my father walking out of the house, getting into the ambulance, and all I could say to him was ‘goodbye’,” Chiodi, 50, told AFP.

“I regret not saying ‘I love you’ and I regret not hugging him. That still hurts me.” With scientists still racing to develop a vaccine, governments have again been 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, though the Fund’s outlook appears brighter now than it did in June.     

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 infections threatening to overload hospitals.

Masks and social distancing in shops, cafes and public transport are now part of everyday life in many cities around the world.


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