1059 GMT July 13, 2020
The global death toll from the coronavirus is gradually nearing 500,000 with almost seven months passing from when the outbreak emerged in China last December, with the figure amounting to at least 494,337, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Saturday.
In addition, at least 9,823,840 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,882,900 are now considered recovered.
The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.
Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.
Largest single-day increase
The US is the worst-hit country with 125,039 deaths from 2,467,837 cases. At least 670,809 people have been declared recovered.
On Friday, The US recorded 45,242 new cases of COVID-19, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally, bringing the total number of Americans who have tested positive to at least 2.48 million.
US infectious disease chief, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the nation has a "serious problem" as 16 states reel from a spike in COVID-19 cases.
At the first White House taskforce briefing in two months, Fauci said, "The only way we're going to end it is by ending it together."
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 55,961 deaths from 1,274,974 cases, Britain with 43,414 deaths from 309,360 cases, Italy with 34,708 deaths from 239,961 cases, and France with 29,778 deaths from 199,343 cases.
With Brazil being the second worst-hit country both in terms of the number of infections and deaths, the country’s president still seems to be unwilling to face the reality, continuing to swim against the tide and downplaying the risks of the virus.
On Friday, Jair Bolsonaro appealed a court ruling that requires him to wear a face mask in public during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, calling it “unnecessary”.
The attorney general's office, which represents the government in legal matters, said the ruling was redundant since face masks are already mandatory in Brasilia.
"This interference from the courts is unnecessary," a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office told AFP.
However, it is a regulation the far-right president has repeatedly flouted, as judge Renato Borelli pointed out in his ruling on Monday.
The case was brought by a lawyer who said the president should be held to account for his “irresponsible behavior”.
Since the ruling, Bolsonaro has worn a mask at all public appearances.
China – excluding Hong Kong and Macau – has to date declared 83,438 cases (21 new since Friday), including 4,634 deaths and 78,444 recoveries.
Europe overall has 195,655 deaths from 2,622,813 cases, the US and Canada 133,592 deaths from 2,570,572 infections, Latin America and the Caribbean 108,222 deaths from 2,369,242 cases, Asia 32,439 deaths from 1,183,410 cases, the Middle East 15,046 deaths from 708,759 cases, Africa 9,250 deaths from 359,944 cases and Oceania 133 deaths from 9,109 cases.