The confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded 100,000 worldwide, as the United Nations’ global health agency – the World Health Organization – warned governments against rolling back measures introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday the agency would like to see an easing, but cautioned that “lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence.” Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tedros said there had been a “welcome slowing” of epidemics in some European countries – Italy, Germany, Spain and France – but there had been an “alarming acceleration” elsewhere, including community transmission in 16 countries of Africa.
His comments came shortly before a tally by the Johns Hopkins University showed that the number of confirmed deaths associated with COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, stood at 100,376. Some health experts fear the actual toll is higher given the challenges of confirming the cause of death, especially outside of hospitals, as well as limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and possible cover-ups by some governments. –Al Jazeera
New coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 2,000 on Friday, the highest daily tally to date. The total number of deaths in New York has now exceeded 5,800. The total confirmed dead from the virus in the U.S. is now 18,545, putting it on the heels of Italy, which at 18,849 has experienced more deaths than any nation on earth. At least 2,056 people died of complications related to covid-19 in the 50 states and District of Columbia, up from totals of 1,878, 1,936 and 1,879 the three days prior.
Worldwide, the confirmed COVID-19 death toll has exceeded 102,000. But experts fear the total is worse than the numbers provided by Johns Hopkins University, given a lack of transparency in China and elsewhere, and the difficulty of confirming cause of death, especially outside of hospitals. –Washington Post
“No one wants to see pictures like in Italy of churches with caskets stacked in them,” said Lanotte, who represents 1,700 funeral homes statewide. Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, said the cemeteries are fully functioning. “They have instituted safety procedures, including training cemetery workers on how to handle burials in this environment, and doing proper cleaning and disinfecting. And, they have split the workers into two teams, so that, God forbid, the members of one team get sick, the other team can continue to work. But, the burials are continuing as normal,” Zwilling said. The cemeteries are closed to visitors to prevent crowding. Some of the city’s funeral homes are already “stretched to capacity” and others are “helping twice as many families as they normally would,” Lanotte said. “There’s also unfortunately been some funeral directors who have fallen ill from COVID, adding a little bit of extra stress to the system,” he said. –NY Post
Spain: As the relentless coronavirus pandemic continues to spread through Spain and overwhelm the country’s health care system as well as morgues and cemeteries, an ice rink in Madrid is now being used to store bodies. The makeshift morgue at the Palacio de Hielo is “a temporary and exceptional measure” to deal with the surge of deaths caused by the fast-spreading virus and mitigate the pain the victims’ family members are facing, Madrid’s regional government said in a statement to news outlets. –NY Daily