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Global Covid-19 cases top 1.5m; US, Europe worst hit

LONDON, April 9, 2020

The economic and human cost of the coronavirus intensified on Thursday as the US recorded another leap in the number of confirmed infections as the global infection rate climbed to more than 1.5 million.
 
The US leads those figures, with an infection total of 432,000 that is now more than the reported totals of Italy, Spain and Germany combined, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
 
New York state reported the fewest hospitalizations since the outbreak began even as it recorded the most deaths in a 24-hour period. 
 
The top US infectious-disease expert said the final death toll may be lower than earlier estimated. 
 
I believe we are going to see a downturn” and projections look “more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000,” National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief Anthony Fauci said in response to an NBC interview question about virus fatality models. 
 
Fauci said he thinks the U.S. is starting to see a flattening of the curve in New York. “I don’t want to jump the gun on that but I think that is the case," he added.
 
Spain is poised to extend a nationwide lockdown, a step also being considered by Italy. 
 
Italy has announced a higher number of new coronavirus cases and deaths as the government considers extending a national lockdown. 
 
Civil protection authorities reported 4,204 new cases, up from 3,836 a day earlier. Italy registered 610 deaths in the past 24 hours, compared with 542 the day before. Total fatalities reached 18,279. 
 
The Swiss death toll from the novel coronavirus has reached 756, Reuters quoted the country's public health agency as saying on Thursday, rising from 705 people on Wednesday.
 
The number of positive cases also increased to 23,574 from 22,789 the day before, it said.
 
The Belgian health ministry announced that the number of Covid-19 deaths has increased to 2,523, after 283 new deaths were registered during the last 24 hours.
 
The Ministry added that up to 1,580 new coronavirus cases were detected, bringing the total number of people infected with the virus in Belgium to 24,983.
 
The UK may keep curbs in place as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition improves in intensive care, reported Bloomberg.
 
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, in charge of the government while Prime Minister Johnson is in critical care with the virus, said the premier is still in intensive care and is making progress: “He’s in good spirits.”
 
Earlier in a televised briefing, Raab said: "It’s too soon for the UK to relax the lockdown imposed almost three weeks ago that was set to end Monday. Deaths are still rising, and we still haven’t seen the peak of the virus."
 
UK deaths rose by 881 to bring the total to 7,978. Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned he expects the number of deaths to increase for "a few weeks."
 



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