Coronavirus slams Russia, Africa, India as global cases reach 5 lakh

Coronavirus slams Russia, Africa, India as global cases reach 5 lakh

Migrant workers from Mumbai and Pune who returned to Patna after COVID-19 pandemic brought daily businesses at a halt, being screened for COVID-19 during nationwide shutdown. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The new coronavirus which has infected close to 5 lakh people, including over 22,000 deaths globally, is now looking to wreak havoc in three countries it has spared so far – India, Russia and South Africa. Russia which seemed virtually untouched to date – with just seven confirmed infections as recently as March 10 – reported 840 infections on Thursday (about two-thirds of them in the Moscow region), according to data from Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center. The African continent that seemed to have dodged the bullet till now reported 72 deaths as confirmed positives cases surpassed 2,746 as of Thursday. India – sitting on a COVID-19 ‘time bomb' – reported close to 700 positive cases, with 16 deaths. The highly coronavirus-affected African countries include South Africa with 709, Egypt with 456 cases, Algeria with 302 cases and Morocco with 225 cases as of Thursday morning, according to the Africa CDC. The number of coronavirus cases in the northern region of Lombardy, which includes Milan, increased by nearly 2,500 on Thursday, regional Governor Attilio Fontana was quoted as saying. "Today's numbers are not good, unfortunately. There has been a steeper increase compared with previous days," Fontana told reporters. The number of cases in the region, which has borne the brunt of Italy's contagion, increased by some 1,643 to roughly 32,346, media reports said. The US death toll from COVID-19 has hit 1,000. More than 37,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York alone. For the first time in a week, coronavirus deaths in Spain slowed down. Spain recorded 655 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 4,089, according to the health ministry said on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases in Spain stood at 56,188.

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