News Coronavirus US deaths top 150,000 as French rate also rises

US deaths top 150,000 as French rate also rises

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US deaths from the coronavirus have surpassed 150,000, a number higher than in any other country and nearly a quarter of the world’s total, according to a Reuters tally.

Of the 20 countries with the biggest outbreaks, the US ranks sixth in deaths per capita, at 4.5 fatalities per 10,000 people.

Only Britain, Spain, Italy, Peru and Chile have a higher per capita rate, the tally shows, with US deaths making up nearly 23 per cent of the global total of 660,997. The increase of 10,000 deaths in 11 days is the fastest in the US since early June.

More than 16.83 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 660,997 have died. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were detected in China in December 2019.

Several European countries boosted restrictions on Wednesday bid to contain their own rising coronavirus infections.

Italy has extended its state of emergency, testing for returning travellers has started in Germany and Britain’s largest tour operator extended its suspension of trips to Spain. Dutch authorities bucked the trend, with the government announcing on Wednesday it will not advise the public to wear masks because evidence of their effectiveness was unclear.

“Because from a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks,” Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed a daily record of 2104 new coronavirus cases – the highest number the country has recorded over 24 hours. In mid-May the daily caseload had hovered in the double digits but following the lifting of restrictions numbers in Israel have since skyrocketed.

The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 1392 on Wednesday (local time) – the highest daily tally in a month – taking the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 185,196.

French health authorities said that, leaving aside the continuous decline of people in ICU units, all COVID-19 indicators showed “an increase of the viral circulation”. The reproduction rate, on an upward trend since the beginning of July, is “higher than 1.3”, having risen in 24 hours, they said.