US surpasses 5 mn Covid-19 cases, with 19.4 mn worldwide

Washington/Geneva, Aug 9 (efe-epa).- The United States, the country with the largest number of coronavirus cases and the world’s highest death toll from Covid-19, surpassed five million confirmed cases on Sunday, with the death toll standing at 162,441, according to the independent tally being kept by The Johns Hopkins University.

Following the US, which had a total of 5,000,603 confirmed cases as of 10 am, comes Brazil, with 3,012,412 cases, India with 2,153,010 and Russia with 885,718.

Regarding Covid-19 deaths, following the US is Brazil with 100,447, Mexico with 52,006 and the United Kingdom with 46,651.

The US states hardest hit by the pandemic have been California, with 554,388 cases, Florida with 526,577 and Texas with 497,632.

Regarding deaths, the story is somewhat different, as New York leads the nation with 32,768, followed by New Jersey with 15,869 and California with 10,316.

The US death toll to date has exceeded the lowest initial estimates released by the White House, which had projected that the best-case scenario would be that the country would suffer between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from the pandemic.

President Donald Trump initially downplayed those estimates and expressed confidence that the final death toll from the pandemic would amount to no more than 50,000-60,000, although later he predicted that some 110,000 would die, a figure that has also been handily exceeded.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), whose models of the pandemic’s evolution the White House has often relied upon, calculates that by the time of the Nov. 3 national election the US death toll will have exceeded 250,000, with 295,000 having died by Dec. 1.

Worldwide, the number of Covid-19 cases now stands at 19.4 million, although the daily infection curve this past week seems to be “slowing” or starting to flatten after two months of rapid growth, according to the latest confirmed figures from the World Health Organization.

With no definitive results having been released yet on Sunday, over the past two days, an average of 280,000 daily newly confirmed cases were registered, although during the previous week the figure had been nearly 300,000 per day, with the highest daily totals being noted on weekends ever since June.

That means that the pandemic infection curve in recent months appears to be slowing for the first time since the Northern Hemisphere summer began.

The official number of pandemic dead worldwide now totals 722,285, after another 6,500-plus were reported to have succumbed to the disease over the past 24 hours.

The Americas continue to be the hardest-hit region on the planet with 10.4 million confirmed cases and 385,000 deaths, 212,000 of them coming in Latin America, while Europe is second in both dire statistics with 3.5 million cases and 216,000 deaths.

Following those regions comes Asia with 2.5 million cases, the Middle East with 1.6 million, Africa with 884,000 and East Asia, which despite being the region where the pandemic originated, specifically in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has been the least affected with 365,000 cases.

The daily confirmed cases appear to have stabilized in the Americas with about 150,000 new cases being reported each day, but they are increasing in Europe due to numerous outbreaks and are also rising in South Asia and the Middle East after weeks of decline in the latter region.

According to national health figures, which the WHO does not tally, some 12.7 million people have “recovered” from the coronavirus, almost two-thirds of the total caseload, while 1 percent of the people who are still sick – about 64,000 of the 6.3 million figure in that category – are currently in serious or critical condition.

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