N E W S

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than four million confirmed cases in 187 countries. More than 279,000 people have lost their lives.

The United States alone has more than 1.3 million confirmed cases – almost six times as many as any other country.

This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.

How many cases and deaths have there been?

The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

Since then it has been spreading rapidly in many countries and the number of deaths continues to climb.

Globally, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – have been living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency’s estimates.

Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund warning the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Europe slowly easing lockdown measures

In Europe, the UK became the first country to record more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths earlier this week.

It surpassed Italy, which was the first country in the region to see a rapid increase in deaths in early March.

Spain and France have also recorded more than 25,000 deaths.

Differences in population size and how countries report their figures, with some including deaths in care homes, or deaths of those suspected but not confirmed of having the virus, means international comparisons are complicated.

However, all four countries appear to have passed through the peak of the virus and the number of new reported cases and deaths is falling.

Germany and Belgium have also recorded a relatively high number of deaths and are now seeing those numbers decrease, though as Belgium has a far smaller population than Germany, the number of deaths per capita there has been higher.

How countries across Europe are planning to move out of lockdown varies, with the EU saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to lifting containment measures.

Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. However, schools will not be fully reopened until September.

In Italy, some shops and factories have now reopened and bars and cafes are being allowed to offer takeaway services.

In Germany all shops can now reopen with extra measures in place, schools have partially reopened and two different households are now allowed to meet up with each other.

In France, non-essential shops and markets are to open again from Monday, but not bars and restaurants. Schools will also be reopened gradually. However, stricter restrictions will remain in Paris and the neighbouring regions.

Other European countries easing restrictions include Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

In the UK, lockdown measures are still in full effect. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to reveal a “comprehensive plan” on Sunday for how the country will get moving again.

Source : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105

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