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Coronavirus: Worldwide death toll climbs to 200,000

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More than 200,000 people worldwide have now died with the coronavirus, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.

There are more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to the tally.

It comes after the number of fatalities in the US passed 50,000, as Americans endure the world’s deadliest outbreak.

Chinese state media reported the first known death linked to the virus on 11 January. More than 210 countries and territories have since reported cases.

Five countries have now reported death tolls above 20,000 although the way fatalities are counted varies widely.

The US, Italy and Spain have seen the highest number of reported fatalities. The UK’s Department of Health announced on Saturday that more than 20,000 people had now died with coronavirus in UK hospitals.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the figure as a “tragic and terrible milestone” and said “the entire nation is grieving”.

As the UK’s daily data does not include people who die at home or in nursing homes, the true figure is certain to be higher.

France, which does include deaths in care homes in its statistics, said its toll had risen by 369 on Saturday.

There have been 22,614 virus deaths in France since the start of March, but health officials say the mortality rate in hospitals is falling, and the number of people in intensive care has dropped for the seventeenth consecutive day.

Among the latest developments:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) says patients who have recovered from the virus may not be protected against re-infection
  • New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will authorise independent pharmacies to carry out tests for Covid-19. He said he would also expand screening for antibodies at four hospitals, starting with essential workers. The state has recorded more than 16,000 deaths
  • The lockdown has caused a surge in the number of people contacting the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline – a government-funded service for adults experiencing intimate image abuse
  • An orphanage in Belarus has appealed for government help after 13 disabled children and 10 staff members were infected with coronavirus – BBC
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