Pandemic spreading, death toll rising
Pandemic spreading, death toll rising
The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 1.2 million people and its death toll has risen more than 65,000.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 1.2 million people and its death toll has risen more than 65,000 worldwide in just three months, according to the US Johns Hopkins University, CNN reported.

Pope Francis appealed Sunday for courage in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the rising death toll.

Pope Francis, who himself has been tested twice for the new coronavirus, delivered Palm Sunday mass by Livestream with Saint Peter’s Square empty of the usual huge crowds, according to AFP.

“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: ‘Courage, open your heart to my love’,” he said.

Over 45,000 global deaths have been in Europe, with Britain reporting a new daily high in fatalities, taking the overall toll to 4,300 out of nearly 42,000 cases.

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” the 93-year-old monarch will say, according to extracts from a Sunday speech by Queen Elizabeth, which was released by Buckingham Palace, a Reuters report said.

“That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”

US President Donald Trump had already warned Americans to brace for a “very horrendous” number of deaths in the coming days, as the number of confirmed cases there surged past 300,000 – the highest in the world.

The death march of the virus has left about half the planet confined to their homes, drastically altering life for billions of people and plunging the global economy into a deep recession.

The virus is also putting massive pressure on healthcare services in nations both rich and poor which are struggling to find enough staff and equipment.

Despite Trump’s bleak warning for the US, there were glimmers of hope in hard-hit Italy, ground zero for COVID-19 in Europe, and in Spain.

Italy, which has registered over 15,000 deaths, cheered after seeing the number of intensive care virus cases drop for the first time on Saturday.

Even some of the most cautious Italian health officials seized on the figures as evidence that the tide may be turning in the deadliest disaster the country has faced since World War II.

Spain, which is under a near-total lockdown, saw a third successive daily fall in coronavirus-related deaths with 647 fatalities, taking its total to over 12,400.

Although the number of new cases also slowed, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced an extension of a lockdown until April 25.

Governments have rolled out massive, unprecedented stimulus programs to ease the pain, but economists have warned that the crisis could worsen poverty levels with millions of jobs lost.

Poor economies are struggling with charities and volunteers rallying to provide food to the needy.

  • source : Iran Daily, Irannews