Global coronavirus deaths hit 900,000 as cases surge in India

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PARIS (Reuters) – The global death toll from the coronavirus passed 900,000 on Wednesday, as worldwide cases topped 28.01 million, according to a Reuters tally.

The United States remains the world’s worst-affected country, with deaths exceeding 195,000 and cases exceeding 6.3 million. Brazil is in second place with more than 128,000 deaths followed by India with over 75,000 dead.

On Wednesday, India reported 95,529 new confirmed infections – its highest-ever daily jump – bringing its total to over 4.4 million and bumping Brazil and its 4.1 million cases to third place.

As the epicentre of the pandemic shifts to India, there is no sign of a peak in the world’s second most populous nation. As bars reopened Wednesday for the first time since lockdown, it is adding more cases each day than any other country since the onset at the start of the year. It is recording more deaths than any other country – an average of more than 1,000 daily for the last two weeks.

The Americas still account for more than half of all fatalities worldwide owing to high death counts in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

An average of more than 5,600 people die each day from COVID-19, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the last two weeks. The rate of deaths is holding steady taking 18 days to climb from 800,000 to 900,000 deaths. It took 17 days to go from 700,000 to 800,000.

India’s fatality rate is around 1%, while Brazil and the United States have mortality rates of around 3%, in line with the world average.

While both deaths and cases in the United States are down from a July peak, cases are rising in about 40% of the country, exacerbated in part by a return of students to college towns.

As cases rebound in parts of Europe, countries have recently seen single-day records in new cases similar to those seen during the spring, signaling a second wave is underway.

The sharp rise of almost 3,000 new cases in the UK over the weekend was the highest jump since May, prompting a ban on gatherings of more than six people as prime minister Boris Johnson tries to control the spike.

The UK, which has the fifth-highest death toll of 41,594, has a 14-day quarantine for returners from European holiday destinations such as some Greek islands, France, Croatia and Spain which are experiencing similar spikes.

Spain was the first country in western Europe to record more than half a million cases on Monday and now has 552,000 total infections.

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