Coronavirus: Confirmed cases top 25 million globally

30 August 2020, 10:35

People stand in a queue to test for COVID-19 at a check post erected to screen people coming from outside the city, in Ahmedabad, India
People stand in a queue to test for COVID-19 at a check post erected to screen people coming from outside the city, in Ahmedabad, India. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has topped 25 million, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The US leads the count with 5.9 million cases, followed by Brazil with 3.8 million and India with 3.5 million.

The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher - perhaps 10 times higher in the US, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention - given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognised.

Global deaths from Covid-19 stand at more than 842,000, with the US having the highest number at 182,779, followed by Brazil with 120,262 and Mexico with 63,819.

Meanwhile, the education minister in France has said not all classrooms in the country can safely reopen on Tuesday, amid a persistent rise in coronavirus infections that threatens the government's push to get the nation's 12.9 million pupils back to school.

Jean-Michel Blanquer said: "It's being decided by a day-by-day analysis based on the health situation of each territory."

France reported 5,453 new daily infections on Saturday, compared to several hundred a day in May and June.

The national health service describes the growth as exponential, and neighbouring countries have imposed quarantines or testing for people arriving from parts or all of France.

The figures come as India registered a record 78,761 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the worst single-day spike in the world.

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The Health Ministry also reported 948 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 63,498.

Sunday's surge has raised the country's total virus tally to over 3.5 million and comes at a time when India is reopening its subway networks and allowing sports and religious events in a limited manner from next month as part of efforts to revive the economy.

The crowded subway, a lifeline for millions of people in the capital New Delhi, will be reopened in a phased manner from September 7.

Schools and colleges will, however, remain closed until the end of September.

The South Asian country has the third-highest caseload after the United States and Brazil, and its fatalities are the fourth-highest.

Even as eight Indian states remain among the worst-hit regions and contribute nearly 73% of the total infections, the virus is now spreading fast in the vast hinterlands, with experts warning that the month of September could be the most challenging.