New Delhi: As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to dig its vicious claws worldwide killing thousands and infecting lakhs of people, the total number of positive cases across the globe reached 576,859 and 26,455 people died according to figures by Johns Hopkins University on Friday midnight. The last 24 hours have been the worst in terms of the number of positive cases recorded and the death toll since the outbreak in December 2019 in China.
The deadly virus has infected 66,751 more people since March 26 midnight and the cases have shot up to 5,76,859 from 5,10,108 while the death toll has climbed to 26,455 from 22,993, a rise of 3,462 in just 24 hours. Among all the nations, the United States of America, the world superpower, tops the positive cases with 94,238, leaving China way behind and the death toll in Italy has been the maximum till now. The European nation registered 919 deaths in the last 24 hours and the overall toll stands at 9,134.
Coronavirus took 67 days to infect the first 1 lakh people after the outbreak in December 2019. The next 1 lakh were infected in 11 days while the virus took four days to reach the 3 lakh-mark. From 3 to 4 lakh took just three days and the next 1 lakh took only two days. And the virus is only gaining momentum in its scale and speed of infecting and killing people.
Italy's coronavirus epidemic could peak in the next few days, experts said Friday, but regional authorities warned the crisis was far from over, as four more frontline doctors died. The national health institute (ISS) cautiously suggested stricter lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease
Spain`s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 769 overnight to 4,858, but a senior health official said the daily increase in the number of fatalities was stabilizing. Spain is second only to Italy in the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide.
More than 300,000 cases of the new coronavirus were recorded in Europe, with more than half registered in Italy and Spain. There were a total of 305,851 cases in Europe, including 18,289 deaths making it the worst-hit continent. Asia was in second place with 102,043 cases of which 3,683 were fatal.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day lockdown from March 25 to April 14 entered its third day. But thousands of poor and daily wage earners have started to break the lockdown and are travelling to their native places as they find it tough to survive in the big cities without any source of income.
Almost all the big cities of India saw massive streams of the poor trying to go back to their native places on foot, some even hundreds of kilometres away with their families. The mass migration has raised fears of coronavirus spreading fast in the interiors of the country, putting the medical system under great strain.
India had till Friday midnight recorded over 700 positive cases along with 17 deaths and with an aim to keep the virus under control, the Centre asked the state governments to make arrangements for the poor to stop them from reverse migrating to their native places.