Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 250,000 - UPDATED

Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 250,000 - UPDATED
# 05 May 2020 05:10 (UTC +04:00)

Global coronavirus deaths rose past a quarter of a million on Monday after infections topped 3.5 million, a Reuters tally of official government data showed, even as several countries began easing lockdowns designed to contain the pandemic.

North America and European countries accounted for most of the new deaths and cases reported in recent days, but numbers were rising from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa and Russia.

Globally, there were 3,914 new deaths and 75,646 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking total deaths to 250,152 and cases to 3.59 million. At least 1.1 million people have recovered from the illness, according to available official data.

That easily exceeds the estimated 140,000 deaths worldwide from measles in 2018, and compares with around 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness caused each year by seasonal influenza, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

While the current trajectory of COVID-19 falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of patients, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

“We could easily have a second or a third wave because a lot of places aren’t immune,” Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital, told Reuters. The world was well short of herd immunity, which requires around 60% of the population to have recovered from the disease, he noted.

Graphic: World-focused tracker with country-by-country interactive - here

The first death linked to COVID-19 was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China, after the coronavirus first emerged there in December. The number of deaths reported in a single day hit a peak of 10,229 just a week ago on April 29. The rate of the daily increase in deaths has slowed to 1%-2% in recent days from a high of 14% on March 21.

Mortality rates from recorded infections vary greatly from country to country.

Belgium has the highest fatality rate at 16% among countries with major outbreaks. At the other end of the spectrum, Australia and New Zealand are at 1%. Britain is at 15%, Italy is at 14% and the United States is at 6%, In Africa, Algeria has a 10% fatality rate.

Collignon said any country with a mortality rate of more than 2% almost certainly had underreported case numbers, with countries overwhelmed by the outbreak less likely to conduct testing in the community and record deaths outside of hospitals.


Global coronavirus fatalities exceeded the 250,000 mark on Monday, according to a running tally by the US-based Johns Hopkins University, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The university's figures counted 250,134 deaths, while the numbers of cases and recoveries stand at 3,562,919 and 1,144,454, respectively.

The US is the country hardest-hit by the global pandemic with over 1.1 million cases and more than 68,300 fatalities.

Italy has the second-highest death toll with 29,079, followed by the UK's tally of 28,809.

Since last week, China did not register a single fatality and its death toll continues to stand at 4,637. These figures continue to raise questions in and outside China.

Overall, the virus has spread to 187 countries since it first emerged in China in December.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer mild symptoms before making a recovery.