Coronavirus Live Updates: around one million people dead from COVID-19
Lamenting what he called “an agonizing milestone,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the world to overcome the challenge presented by the pandemic and to learn from past mistakes made at the outset.
“Responsible leadership matters,” Gutteres said. “Science matters. Cooperation matters — and misinformation kills.”
COVID-19 was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year when doctors began noticing people were getting seriously ill with a mysterious new form of pneumonia. Despite border closures and quarantines, the virus spread across the world and the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic in March.
“If anything, the numbers currently reported probably represent an underestimate of those individuals who have either contracted COVID-19 or died as a cause of it,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, told a briefing in Geneva on Monday.
“When you count anything, you can’t count it perfectly but I can assure you that the current numbers are likely an underestimate of the true toll of COVID,” he said.
Figures from around the world
The US has recorded more than 205,000 deaths and over 7 million infections. Cases are once again rising; on average the country is reporting around 45,000 new cases each day. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly downplayed the risks of the virus, and critics accuse him of mishandling the pandemic.
India is closing in on the US, crossing six million cases on Monday. While the virus initially hit the country’s large cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi it has now spread to rural areas where healthcare systems are much less able to cope with a potential influx of patients.
Europe is also seeing a resurgence of the disease after lockdowns were lifted and governments urged people to return to work. Officials are now revising that advice and imposing new regulations to try and slow the spread of the virus, but have encountered resistance from some areas. In the UK, the government is imposing strict lockdown conditions in different parts of the country in a bid to combat the spread and to stop daily deaths from rising again. The government has also introduced hefty fines for those who break the rules.
Daily infection numbers have shot up in September, from a few hundred to several thousand per day. The UK becomes the country with the fifth-highest death toll.
Indonesia and the Philippines have been particularly hard-hit, while Malaysia, which saw early success in suppressing the disease, is battling a surge in cases in its Borneo state of Sabah that have seeded outbreaks elsewhere in the country. Nearly one million people in Sabah are now under strict two-week lockdown.