Virus tolls surge in Russia, Americas as Europe speeds reopening
Paris: The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic spiked again in Russia and the Americas on Friday, even as Europe’s experiment with reopening from lockdown grew bolder by the day.
Fresh restrictions in Asia also signalled that there will be a long road back to normality from the pandemic that has killed more than 360,000 people and hammered the global economy.
However signs of pre-COVID 19 life’s return continue to grow, with English and Italian football unveiling plans to join Germany in resuming to play the world’s most popular game.
Populations are learning to adjust to life with the long-term threat of infection as the virus continues its march around the globe — with more than 5.8 million cases — and a vaccine remains elusive.
Russia reported a record increase of 232 coronavirus deaths on Friday, taking it to a total of 4,374 deaths and 387,623 cases, the third-highest number of infections in the world after the United States and Brazil.
Moscow authorities meanwhile released mortality figures to dispel allegations they were under-reporting deaths to play down the scale of the crisis.
Russian authorities said numbers of deaths in the capital were far lower than those in New York and London, attributing the difference to mass testing.
Moscow is due to ease its lockdown on Monday, and the Kremlin is in talks with world leaders to attend a World War II parade in late June.
The urgency was underlined by ballooning death tolls in South America, increasingly the new focus of the pandemic that first emerged in China late last year before spreading around the world.
Brazil recorded more than 1,000 fatalities and a national one-day record for infections, while Chile also logged a record daily death toll Thursday and total fatalities topped 4,000 in Peru. – AFP