Global Covid-19 death toll hits 800,000 - Johns Hopkins university

22 August 2020, 15:13

People wear protective masks in Malaga in Spain
People wear protective masks in Malaga in Spain. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The global death toll for coronavirus has reached 800,000, according to the latest figures compiled by Johns Hopkins university.

The grim milestone was reached today, one day after Britain's R-rate rose again to between 0.9 and 1.1, sparking fears of a resurgence of the virus this winter.

According to Johns Hopkins University there have been close to 23 million global cases of the virus, with 5.6m of those in the US. 175,429 people have died from the disease there.

3.5m people have contracted the disease in Brazil, with 113, 358 having died there so far.

The country with the third highest death toll is Mexico, with 59,610 deaths.

The milestone was reached as officials warned the UK could face going into a second 'lockdown'.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on Friday told people in Oldham in Greater Manchester, as well as Pendle and Blackburn in Lancashire, not to socialise with anyone outside their household from midnight on Saturday.

Public transport should only be used if it is essential and the number of people attending weddings, civil partnerships and funerals should be limited to no more than 20, made up of household members and close family only, the department said.

The Government said a rise in people testing positive for coronavirus in Oldham, Blackburn and Pendle was due to "social mixing", particularly among 20 to 39-year-olds.

Officials reportedly want to avoid a situation like Spain, which has seen 142 cases per 100,000 people in the fastest growing infection rate in Europe.

A senior government source told The Daily Telegraph: "If it doesn't get contained it may be that some things that have been open, you need to think about whether measures need to be taken to reverse things.

"The strategy is to manage this through local outbreak management, but if it moves in the direction of Spain, then clearly you can see what's happening there, and in France, people are making more nationwide measures."

Greater Manchester Police also took to social media on Saturday to tell people not to call 999 or 101 for clarification about Covid-19 measures.

It tweeted: "Please do not call 101 or 999 for clarification on COVID-19 regulations."

The tighter restrictions were announced by the DHSC as holidaymakers scrambled to get home to beat new quarantine measures.

From 4am on Saturday travellers arriving to the UK from Croatia have to self-isolate for 14 days after a spike in coronavirus cases led to the Government removing Croatia from its safe travel list.

Friday's announcement on new Covid-19 restrictions in the North West stopped short of a localised lockdown, where businesses would be closed.

The Government said people can still shop and go to work and that schools and other childcare settings will open as normal under the new restrictions.