Coronavirus kills over 100,000 globally; 50% died in a week
The novel coronavirus is highly contagious and is capable of wiping off cities, the new data about the death toll confirms, yet again. Till now, the virus, that originated in China in December last year, has killed 102,753 people. But that's not the only disturbing part. Half of the total deaths around the world happened in just one week, as infections grew by 600,000.
China is coronavirus' home, but other countries suffered more
Though the virus originated in China, Italy became the worst-hit nation, followed by the United States and Spain. A total of 18,849 people died in Italy, 18,747 in the US, and 16,081 in Spain. In New York alone, 5,820 died, much more than the death toll of some countries, putting pressure on President Donald Trump to take steps to control the pandemic.
First COVID-19 death happened on January 9 in Wuhan
The first COVID-19 related death happened in China's Wuhan on January 9. In a matter of 83 days, the virus killed 50,000 globally and in just eight days after that, the total death toll crossed 100,000. In the last week, the toll accelerated at 6-10% daily, with 7,300 deaths being reported on Thursday, said Reuters. While the world suffered, China re-opened Wuhan with celebrations.
Christians observed a Good Friday like none other
Due to the pandemic, Good Friday was observed like never before around the world. Believers sat in front of the computer screens, and not churches, to offer prayers. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (France), which was engulfed in a massive fire last April, came back to life briefly when services were broadcast. In Italy, drones were deployed to ensure citizens remain indoors.
Coronavirus' death toll compares to London's Great Plague
Coronavirus has taken the same number of lives as London's Great Plague in the mid-1660s, where an estimated 100,000 people, almost one-third of the city's population, died. The Spanish Flu which started in 1918 and ended two years later, killed more than 20 million people.
In some countries, 10% of confirmed cases died
In countries like Italy, France, Algeria, the Netherlands, Spain, and Britain, 10% of all total cases turned out to be fatal. In China, when 44,000 patients were studied, the fatality rate came to be 2.9%. Among the 2.9%, 93% were aged above 50 and half of them were more than 70. But, data shows teenagers or young adults aren't immune to coronavirus either.
Countries have been locked down, recession is here
Since no cure or vaccine is available, countries are relying on lockdowns to contain the transmission. Cities have been deserted, flight operations suspended, schools/institutes shut, and people have been asked to remain indoors most of the time. This has collectively impacted the economy, with the International Monetary Fund warning on Thursday that a recession, worse than the 1930s Great Depression, is upon us.
In unprecedented crisis, Google and Apple are working together
Meanwhile, the UN Labor Organization predicted 195 million full-time employees could become jobless in the second quarter. In India, the unemployment rate shot from 8.41% to 23.81% after the country was locked down. Separately, to take on the pandemic, tech giants Apple and Google announced they will be working on a contact tracing technology, which aims to slow the spread of the virus.
Apple's chief Tim Cook made the announcement
Contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and can be done without compromising user privacy. We’re working with @sundarpichai @Google to help health officials harness Bluetooth technology in a way that also respects transparency consent. https://t.co/94XlbmaGZV— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 10, 2020
Infections are doubling every six days in India
Meanwhile, India was put under a complete lockdown for 21 days, starting March 25. It's scheduled to end on April 14, but the curbs are likely to continue after that. While countries like the UK are doubling infections every three days, it's taking six days in India, so the restrictions could perhaps be working after all. The death toll in India stands at 249.
Shockingly, some patients who recovered, tested positive again
While countries are scrambling to develop a vaccine, the virus is revealing its different characteristics one by one. In South Korea, 91 patients who had "recovered", tested positive again. Jeong Eun-kyeong, Director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), believed the virus may have "re-activated" itself, but some experts asserted the patients could have relapsed.