International Covid-19 update: Virus takes toll on UK, US, animals run free in India's deserted streets

2020-04-08 20:54
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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The coronavirus continues to take its toll on the UK and US, AFP reports. 

The UK on Wednesday once again broke its record for number of deaths in 24 hours after 938 new Covid-19 deaths - 152 more than its previous highest toll, as the total number of deaths passed 7 000. A total of 7 097 have died.

The US, meanwhile, on Wednesday surpassed 400 000 novel coronavirus cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has now claimed the lives of at least 12 936 people, as the country leads the world in the number of confirmed infections with 401 116, by the Baltimore-based school's count. The 300 000-case milestone was passed on Saturday.

The US death toll is approaching those of hard-hit Italy with more than 17 000 and Spain with more than 14 500 as of Wednesday evening.

Animals take to the desolate streets in India

Hundreds of monkeys have taken over the streets around India's presidential palace, leading an animal offensive taking advantage of deserted streets as the country remains under a coronavirus lockdown, AFP reports. 

With India's 1.3 billion population and tens of millions of cars conspicuous by their absence, stray domestic animals and wildlife has moved to fill the void, while also suffering from the pandemic fallout.

In the financial capital Mumbai, peacocks have been seen perched on top of parked cars, displaying their spectacular trains.

In Delhi, troops of monkeys now scamper over the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhawan presidential compound, past military guards and into the grounds of ministries and other official buildings.

"They are stealing a lot more, but not yet threatening humans," said one officer on duty at the palace entrance.

The Rhesus macaque monkeys - who often snatch food from shoppers' bags - have long been a problem in the capital, but there have been reports of some getting into office buildings during the lockdown.

Other animals have also been emboldened by the coronavirus restrictions on humans, who are only allowed out for food and essential items.

Covid-19 pandemic may spark 'devastating' global condom shortage

The UN is sounding the alarm, with its sexual and reproductive health agency warning it can currently only get about 50%-60% of its usual condom supplies due to virus-related disruptions.

"Border closings and other restrictive measures are affecting transportation and production in a number of countries and regions," said a UN Population Fund spokesperson, adding they were taking steps such as adding extra suppliers to support urgent needs.

Read more on:    coronavirus
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