Coronavirus: Global death toll passes 200,000 with nearly 3million infected

25 April 2020, 19:32

It has taken only weeks for the death toll to double
It has taken only weeks for the death toll to double. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

The global death toll from coronavirus has passed 200,000 with over 2.8 million infected.

As of April 10, the global death toll passed 100,000, three months after the first Covid-19 deaths emerged.

But it has taken only two weeks for the toll to double and the number of infections is approaching three million.

It comes as authorities are under increasing pressure to bring the socially and economically devastating lockdowns to an end.

However, most governments are only acting if they believe the virus is under control.

British ministers warned today that it is too early to lift the restrictions as the death toll in the UK reached 20,000.

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Gabriel Leung, the dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, warned against easing lockdowns in Europe too soon as there are fears of a second wave of infections

Speaking to Der Spiegel, he said: "Containment has failed everywhere.

“What we need is suppression, or better: cycles of suppression and lift, probably many of them."

The World Health Organisation warned against "immunity passports", saying there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected against a second infection.

The concept of "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" has been floated as a way of allowing people protected against reinfection to return to work.

But the Geneva-based UN health agency said in a scientific brief published on Saturday that more research is needed.

It said that "at this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an 'immunity passport' or 'risk-free certificate'."