As some countries report signs of progress in the coronavirus battle, including the slowing down in the number of hospitalisations in parts of the US, authorities urged caution and called for continued observance of measures that help contain the disease, as the global death toll inches closer to 100,000 as of Friday.
In the United States, the death toll has surpassed 16,500. But the number of newly hospitalised patients in the hardest-hit state of New York dropped.
The apparent progress in efforts to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus was also reflected in fresh computer models scaling back on Thursday the projected nationwide death toll to 60,000, down from earlier forecasts of at least 100,000.
Still, the pandemic is taking a toll on the US economy with unemployment expected to hit 15 percent this month – a number not seen since the Great Depression.
In the United Kingdom, the death toll rose by 881 in 24 hours, officials said on Thursday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved out of intensive care but remained in hospital.
Worldwide, there are now more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus but of that number close to 354,000 have already recovered.
A staggering 16.8 million Americans have lost their jobs in just three weeks, a measure of how fast the coronavirus has brought world economies to their knees.
One hundred Italian doctors have died after contracting coronavirus since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country in February, Italy’s FNOMCeO health association said on Thursday.
“The number of doctors who have died because of COVID-19 is 100 – perhaps even 101 at the moment, unfortunately,” a spokesman said.
Mexico has recorded its first two deaths of pregnant women from the coronavirus as the overall number of fatalities in the country reached 194, according to the country’s health ministry.