Confirmed coronavirus cases in the world crossed half a million on Friday, with the pandemic infecting 5,31,708 people globally, and causing 24,053 deaths across 176 countries or territories, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University. Out of all the confirmed cases in the world 1,22,672 people have recovered.
The United States has surpassed China as the nation with the most coronavirus cases in the world, with 85,991 patients. At least 246 people died on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths nationwide to at least 1,195, reported CNN. China has reported 81,782 cases as of Friday morning.
The pandemic has led to an increase in unemployment benefit filings by Americans with numbers going up to 3.3 million last week – the highest-ever, the US Labour Department said on Thursday. After the G20 summit, held via video conference, United States President Donald Trump said his administration was working with allies to contain the spread of Covid-19 .
“We talked about the problem and hopefully won’t be a problem for too much longer,” Trump said. “The United States is working with our friends and partners around the world to stop the spread of the virus and coordinate our efforts.” He added that it was important for all the countries to immediately begin exchanging information.
Meanwhile, the United States Space Force has launched its first national security mission on Thursday despite the spread of coronavirus in the country. An ultra-secure military communication satellite was sent into the orbit. The mission will provide “global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms,” according to Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace and defense company, reported AFP.
In China, the mainland on Friday reported its first locally transmitted Covid-19 case in three days and 54 new imported cases. Beijing has directed airlines to reduce flights amid concerns that travellers from other nations may reignite the outbreak.
The National Health Commission, in a statement on Friday, said 55 new cases were reported on the previous day, down from 67 reported on Wednesday. The toll in the country stood at 3,292 as of Friday morning.
On Thursday, China announced severe restrictions to prevent arrivals into the country, capping the number on board to 75%. Flights in and out of the country will also be restricted to just one route every week to each country, including for international airlines.
Non-nationals residing in China with valid visas and resident permits will not be allowed to return to the country after midnight on Friday, the foreign ministry said in a statement. This was a “temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation”, the ministry added.
Italy, which was the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe, has reported the most infections in the last five days as the disease spread to the northern Lombardy region, reported Bloomberg. The country’s civil protection agency reported 6,153 fresh cases on Thursday, when compared with 5,210 the previous day.
Toll in the country due to the outbreak over the past 24 hours totaled 662, as opposed to 683 on the previous day, according to data provided at the agency’s daily briefing. The number of positive cases in the country are now 80,589, and more than 8,000 people have died.
Spain’s Covid-19 toll went beyond 4,000 on Thursday but the increase in both fatalities and infections have decreased, raising hopes that a strict lockdown will begin to contain the epidemic’s spread, reported AFP. Currently, the country has the world’s second-highest death count after Italy, and 4,089 people have died after another 655 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said. The country’s Parliament has extended emergency measures until April 12.