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Virus rebounds; global death toll for pandemic now tops 600,000

COVID-19, coronavirus
Posted at 12:06 AM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 00:19:21-04

BERLIN -- The coronavirus pandemic has found fresh legs around the world, as confirmed deaths pass 600,000 and countries from the U.S. to South Africa to India struggle to contain a surge of new infections.

Johns Hopkins University says the global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 600,000. The university’s tally as of Saturday night says the United States tops the list with 140,103 deaths. It is followed by 78,772 fatalities in Brazil and 45,358 in the United Kingdom.

The number of confirmed infections worldwide has passed 14.2 million, out of which 3.7 million are in the United States. There are over 2 million in Brazil and more than 1 million in India.

Hong Kong issued tougher new rules on wearing face masks, Spain closed overcrowded beaches and Germany zeroed in on another outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

Even Pope Francis said “the pandemic is showing no sign of stopping” and urged compassion for those whose suffering during the outbreak is worsened by conflicts.

The World Health Organization again reported a single-day record of new infections with 259,848.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.