The total number of global cases has passed 1,000,000, including more than 50,000 fatalities. Over 200,000 patients are reported to have recovered. Get the latest updates from around the world:
Confirmed Covid-19 infections are nearing the one million mark after “near exponential growth” saw global cases more than double in the past week.
The World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned of the approaching milestone as new cases reached almost every country and territory across the world.
“As we enter the fourth month since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic I’m deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection,” Tedros said.
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country.
“The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days we will reach one million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths.” The total number of global cases on Thursday has passed 1,000,000 with more than 47,000 deaths.
On Wednesday evening, Donald Trump warned of “difficult days” for the US, saying: “We are going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now, that are going to be horrific.”
He again questioned China’s reported numbers on the virus: “The numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side – and I am being nice when I say that – relative to what we witnessed and what was reported.”
The comments followed a Bloomberg news story that said a classified US intelligence report had concluded that China had under-reported the total cases and deaths it had suffered. On Wednesday – the last day of available figures – China reported 82,361 confirmed cases and 3,316 deaths.
Trump’s warning came as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reportedly asked US defence agencies for 100,000 body bags, for use by civilian authorities. The White House has previously said deaths could reach 240,000.
Other coronavirus developments included:
- Trump admitted his government’s emergency stockpile of protective equipment was nearly exhausted because of the extraordinary demands of the coronavirus pandemic, as the US reported 884 deaths in one day. He also said the US “had to help” the two coronavirus-stricken cruise liners approaching Florida.
- British Airways is expected to announce the suspension of 36,000 staff, according to the BBC.
- Brazil confirmed its first indigenous case of Covid-19, a 20-year-old woman deep in the Amazon rainforest.
- Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, urged police to kill those violating virus lockdown measures. “If there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead,” he said. His threat follows the arrest of 21 people who had apparently taken to the streets to demand help.
- South Korea reported 89 new coronavirus cases, slightly lower than the 100-case average over the last three weeks, bringing the country’s total to 9,976.
- Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is returning to self-isolation for another six days after his health minister was diagnosed with coronavirus.