Global death toll from coronvirus exceeds 200,000

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NEW DELHI –
The global death toll from the coronavirus has exceeded 200,000, researchers at Johns Hopkins University said on Saturday.

THIS IS A NEWS UPDATE. The previous AP story follows below.

A temporary easing in the world of coronavirus blockages accelerated on Saturday with the reopening in India of neighborhood stores on which many 1.3 billion people in the country count for everything, from cold drinks to data cards for phones portable.

In the United States, the states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska have started to relax lock-out orders for their businesses injured by a pandemic, even as the death toll in the United States confirmed by the coronavirus has exceeded 50,000 and that health experts have warned that such measures could happen too soon.

The easing of Indian isolation was accompanied by major warnings. It did not apply to the hundreds of cities and other quarantined places hardest hit by the epidemic which has killed at least 775 people in the country and terrified its multitude of poor people living in shantytowns too populated for a social distancing.

Shopping centers have also remained closed nationwide. Yet for families who operate small stores, being able to win again has brought relief.

“It is a good decision,” said architect Amit Sharma. “We have to open up a few things and let the economy start to move. The poor should have a source of income. This virus is going to be a long-term problem. “

Last week, India also allowed industry and agriculture to resume in rural areas to alleviate the economic plight of millions of unemployed people due to the lockdown imposed on March 24.

Elsewhere in Asia, authorities did not report any new deaths on Saturday for the 10th consecutive day in China, where the virus originated.

And South Korea has only reported 10 new cases, the eighth day in a row its daily jump fell below 20. There have been no new deaths for the second day in a row.

However, other countries have extended or tightened restrictions, confirming a trend of caution in striking a balance between public health and closed economies.

Sri Lanka partially lifted a month-long curfew during the day in more than two-thirds of the country. But he reimposed a 24-hour nationwide lockout after a wave of 46 new infections on Friday, the largest increase in a day on the Indian Ocean island. The new curfew remains in effect until Monday.

Norway has extended its ban on events to at least September 1 with more than 500 participants. Culture Minister Abid Raja said the decision was not easy, but added that there can be no big events “that can contribute to more infections that will affect life and health” .

The global death toll has approached 200,000, according to a count compiled by John Hopkins University from government figures. The actual death toll would be much higher.

Pope Francis appealed for prayer to funeral home workers, saying, “What they are doing is so heavy and so sad. They really feel the pain of this pandemic. “

In an announcement that highlighted scientific unknowns about the virus, the World Health Organization said “there is currently no evidence” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 cannot get sick again .

In Europe, Belgium has outlined plans for a gradual easing of the lockdown from May 4 with the resumption of nonessential treatments in hospitals and the reopening of textile and sewing stores so that people can make masks. Bars and restaurants would be allowed to reopen on June 8, although Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes also warned that an outbreak of infections could change the timeline and that “nothing is set in stone.”

Children in Spain will have their first fresh air in the weeks on Sunday when the ban on leaving them outside is relaxed. After 44 days indoors, they will be allowed to take a toy or scooter with them, but not to play together on adult-supervised one-hour excursions no more than 1 kilometer from the house. Some nervous parents have purchased child-size masks online for their children, as recommended by the authorities.

“I really want to go out, and Ema too,” said Eva Novilo, a Madrid girl whose daughter Ema is 7 years old. But Novilo predicted “difficult situations” if they see Ema’s friends and have to stay separated. “I don’t know if we will be able to stay in control. “

Authorities in Italy have warned against abandoning social distancing following the relaxation of lock-in restrictions on May 4 and the return of millions of people to work. Authorities have said that free face masks will be distributed to nursing homes, police, officials and transport workers. Rome’s public transit agency has painted blue circles on subway platforms to remind people to keep their distance when commuters return in large numbers.

The country continues to have the highest death rate in Europe, with 26,384 deaths. The 415 deaths recorded in the 24-hour period ending Saturday evening was the lowest since Italy recorded 345 deaths on March 17, but only five fewer than Friday.

With rallies banned, the Italians celebrated the 75th anniversary of their liberation from the occupation forces during World War II, emerging on balconies or rooftops at the same time on Saturday to sing a folk song linked to the resistance fighters.

Britain is still waiting to change its lock, with more than 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals. The figure does not include deaths in nursing homes, which are expected to number in the thousands.

In France, the government is preparing to carefully loosen one of the strictest locks in Europe from May 11. The Minister of Health has detailed plans to increase testing to contain any new outbreaks.

Test shortages are also a critical issue elsewhere, including Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, which is approaching becoming a pandemic hotspot.

Medical officials in Rio de Janeiro and four other major cities have warned that their hospital systems are on the verge of collapse or already overwhelmed. In Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon, authorities said they were forced to dig mass graves in a cemetery. Workers buried 100 corpses a day, triple the average before the virus.

In the United States, the Republican governors of Georgia and Oklahoma have authorized the reopening of salons, spas, and hair salons, while Alaska has paved the way for restaurants to resume food service and that retail stores and other businesses open their doors, all with limitations. Some Alaska municipalities have chosen to maintain more stringent rules.

Although limited in scope and subject to social distancing restrictions, the reopenings marked a symbolic milestone in the debate that is raging in the United States and beyond as to how quickly political leaders should lift blocking orders. economically devastating.

In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended his home stay order until May 15, while lifting restrictions so that some businesses can reopen and the public can resume outdoor activities such as golfing and motorized pleasure boating. Michigan has nearly 3,000 virus-related deaths, behind only New York and New Jersey.

On Friday, President Donald Trump spoke of the economy with optimism, but also asked people to continue to distance themselves from society and use face covers. On the same day, he signed a $ 484 billion bill to help employers and hospitals. In the past five weeks, about 26 million people have applied for unemployment assistance, or about 1 in 6 American workers.

Trump also said that his widely criticized comments suggesting that people can ingest or inject disinfectant to combat COVID-19 was an attempt at sarcasm.

Amy Pembrook and her husband Mike reopened their hair salon in the city of Fairview in northwest Oklahoma after it closed for about a month.

“We are very excited to go back, but we have caught a small flak of people who say it is too early,” she said. “We just said that we can live in fear for a long time or that we can trust that everything will be fine. “

Leicester reported from Pecq, France. Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to it.

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