Coronavirus: Global death toll passes 50,000

Jane Dalton
Getty Images

The death toll worldwide from Covid-19 has surpassed 50,000, and more than a million people have tested positive, official figures show.

As of Thursday evening, 51,335 people had succumbed to the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But the true numbers are believed to be much higher, because of testing shortages, many mild cases that have gone unreported and suspicions that some countries are covering up the extent of their outbreaks.

At least 208,600 have recovered, the university’s statistics suggest.

Spain reported a record one-day number of deaths, 950, bringing its overall toll to 10,003, despite signs that the rate of infections is slowing.​

Italy recorded 760 more deaths, bringing the total to 13,915, the worst of any country, but new infections are levelling off. More than 10,000 health workers in Italy have been infected and 69 doctors have died.

The UK death toll among hospital patients again rose by a one-day record – up in 24 hours by 569, or 24 per cent, to 2,921.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has pledged that 100,000 people will be tested for the virus each day by the end of the month, following an outcry over the UK’s failing to reach other countries’ levels of testing.

The government is adamant it will use only tests that have passed strict efficiency checks.

One of Britain’s top health officials says the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus could plateau in the next two to three weeks, but before then death rates could rise steeply.

Paul Cosford, emeritus medical director of Public Health England, said he could not rule out the possibility the UK was on course for 1,000 deaths a day by the weekend.

New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, warned that the state was quickly running out of breathing machines, saying at current rates there were enough ventilators for just six days.

Read more

When can we really expect coronavirus to end?

Everything you need to know on supermarket delivery slots

The dirty truth about washing your hands

Which countries around the world has coronavirus spread to?

Listen to the latest episode of The Independent Coronavirus Podcast