Covid-19 wrap: Global death toll passes 290 000, 113-year-old woman survives virus and Brazil deaths spike


Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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Global death toll from coronavirus passes 290 000 - AFP tally

Paris – The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed more than 290 000 lives worldwide, according to an AFP tally of official sources at 22:00 (GMT) on Tuesday.

In total, 290 477 deaths have been registered, with Europe accounting for 159 205 of them. The United States is the worst-affected country with 82 105 deaths, followed by Britain (32 692), Italy (30 911), France (26 991) and Spain (26 920).

 - AFP

US adds 1 894 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours - tracker

Washington – The United States recorded 1 894 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 82 246, according to the real-time tally by Johns Hopkins University at 20:30 on Tuesday (00:30 GMT Wednesday).

The figure was a sharp rise after daily tolls fell below 1 000 on Sunday and Monday.

The country – hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities – has now confirmed a total of 1 367 927 cases, the Baltimore-based school reported.

 - AFP

113-year-old Spanish woman survives coronavirus

Madrid – A 113-year-old woman, believed to be the oldest person living in Spain, has beaten the coronavirus at a retirement home where several other residents died from the disease, the residence said on Tuesday.

Maria Branyas, who was born in the US, became infected in April at the Santa Maria del Tura care home in the eastern city of Olot, where she has lived for the past 20 years, and fought the respiratory illness off in isolation in her room.

"She survived the disease and is doing fine," a spokesperson for the residence told AFP, adding Branyas had only displayed mild symptoms.

"She feels good now, she took a test last week and the result was negative," the spokesperson said without giving further details.

Branyas, a mother of three, was isolated in her room for weeks, with only a single employee in protective gear allowed in to check on her, according to Catalan regional television TV3, which broadcast images of the centenarian.

 - AFP

Brazil registers one-day record for Covid-19 deaths

Sao Paulo – Brazil registered its highest Covid-19 death toll for a single day, with 881 new deaths confirmed over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Brazil, the Latin American country hit hardest in the pandemic, appears to be quickly becoming a new global flashpoint. The total death toll from the new coronavirus has now hit 12 400 in the country, with 177 589 confirmed cases – up 9 258 from the day before.

That makes Brazil the sixth most-affected country, after the United States, Britain, Italy, France and Spain.

"Certainly, the increase of cases (in Brazil) in the last several days is a case of concern," Marcos Espinal, head of the communicable diseases department at the Pan American Health Organisation, told a briefing in Washington.

Experts say under-testing means the real numbers in Brazil are probably far higher.

 - AFP

Young sumo wrestler dies of coronavirus in Japan

Tokyo – A 28-year-old sumo wrestler died in Japan on Wednesday after contracting coronavirus and suffering multiple organ failure, becoming the ancient sport's first Covid-19 fatality, the national association said.

Shobushi, a lower-ranking wrestler belonging to the Takadagawa stable in Tokyo, died early on Wednesday after battling the disease for more than a month.

He developed a fever over 4-5 April but had trouble contacting the local public health office because phone lines were constantly busy, the Sumo Association said in a statement.

He was then turned away by several hospitals before finally being admitted to a Tokyo hospital on the evening of 8 April, after he started coughing up blood, it added.

An initial coronavirus test there came back negative, but he then tested positive on 10 April after being transferred to another hospital, where he was placed in intensive care on 19 April.

 - AFP

Chinese city in partial lockdown over 'major risk' of virus spread

A northeastern Chinese city has partially shut its borders and cut off transport links after the emergence of a local coronavirus cluster that has fuelled growing fears of a second wave of infections in China.

Jilin, with a population of more than four million, suspended bus services and said it will only allow residents to leave the city if they have tested negative for Covid-19 in the past 48 hours and complete an unspecified period of "strict self-isolation".

 - AFP

Seoul sees surge in virus tests after promising anonymity

Coronavirus screening has surged in South Korea since authorities introduced anonymous testing, officials said, as they scrambled to tackle a nightclub cluster amid concerns anti-gay prejudice could impede the response.

The country has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus, but a spike of new cases, driven by the cluster in venues in Seoul's Itaewon district – including several gay clubs – forced authorities to delay this week's planned re-opening of schools.

 - AFP

Nepal sees biggest jump in cases

Nepal saw the highest single day jump in its coronavirus tally, reporting 83 cases.

But the country's total number of confirmed infections remains relatively low at 217, with a majority of the cases recorded in the country's southern districts adjoining India.

 - AFP

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