Virus toll nears half a million as cases surge in US, L. America
Coronavirus cases are surging across large parts of the United States and in Latin America, according to experts and figures, highlighting how far the world remains from stopping the pandemic as the global death toll neared half a million on Wednesday.
Six months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, the International Monetary Fund was set to issue its latest growth forecasts later Wednesday. The number of deaths worldwide from the outbreak has surged past 477,000, a doubling of the toll in less than two months, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday.
China, where the virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan in December, said a new outbreak that has infected 256 people in Beijing since early June is “under control”, but fears remain over the risk of community transmission. Experts warned that small, recurrent outbreaks of the virus were likely in future.
“There may be an increase in cases in the winter or next spring, but I don’t think the outbreak will be as big as the first wave of the pandemic,” Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese respiratory expert, said on Wednesday Europe remains the worsthit region with over 194,000 dead from more than 2.5 million cases.