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    Coronavirus: Global death toll tops 555,000

    Credit: Belga

    At least 556,140 people have died worldwide from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally worked out on Friday at 9:00 PM by the French news agency, AFP, based on official sources.

    Over 12.361.580 infections have been officially reported in 196 countries and territories since the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s China office first reported the viral outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Of these, at least 6,593,400 are today viewed as having recovered.

    However, diagnosed cases are only a fraction of the real number of infections: some countries only test severe cases, others use testing mainly for tracing, and many poor countries have limited testing capacity.

    Since the previous count, done at 9.00 p.m. on Thursday, a total of 5,112 new deaths and 224,319 new infections were registered worldwide. The countries with the highest numbers of new deaths were Brazil (1,220), the United States (739) and Mexico (730).

    The United States, which reported its first Corona-related fatality in early February, had the highest number of deaths and cases, 133,542 fatalities for 3,144,472 infections. At least 969,111 persons were reported to have recovered.

    After the United States, the worst affected countries were Brazil, with 69,184 fatalities for 1,755,779 cases; the United Kingdom, 44,650 deaths from 288,133 cases; Italy, 34,938 deaths (242,639 cases) and Mexico, 33,526 deaths (282,283 cases).

    Among the worst-hit countries, Belgium had the highest mortality rate, 84 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the United Kingdom (66), Spain (61), Italy (58) and Sweden (55).

    China (excluding the territories of Hong Kong and Macau) officially reported a total of 83,585 cases (four of them detected between Thursday and Friday), 4,634 deaths and 78,609 recoveries.

    By Thursday at 9.00 p.m. Belgian time, Namibia had announced its first COVID-related death.

    Europe had a cumulative total of 201,723 deaths for 2,803,100 cases by the cutoff time on Friday night, followed by the United States and Canada (142,335 deaths; 3,251,493 cases), Latin America and the Caribbean (138,337 deaths; 3,186,561 cases), Asia (41,422 deaths; 1,658,293 cases), the Middle East (19,555 deaths; 893,896 cases), Africa (12,633 deaths; 557,308 cases) and Oceania (135 deaths; 10,929 cases).

    The tally was based on data collected by AFP offices from the competent national authorities and information from the WHO.

    Due to corrections made by authorities or late release of data, figures related to increases over a 24-hour period do not exactly match those published the previous day.

    The Brussels Times