More than 160,000 people have died from the new coronavirus around the world, almost two-thirds of them in Europe, according to a tally on Sunday based on official sources.
A total of 160,502 fatalities have been registered out of 2,331,318 cases.
These include 101,398 deaths and 1,151,820 infections in Europe, the continent hardest hit by the virus.
The United States is the country with the most reported deaths at 39,090, followed by Italy with 23,227, Spain 20,453, France 19,323 and Britain 15,464.Coronavirus deaths surged past 100,000 in Europe as the world’s top musicians joined forces for a virtual concert, hoping to spread cheer to billions stuck at home under lockdown.
A-listers including the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder and teen superstar Billie Eilish entertained fans with a six-hour online extravaganza celebrating healthcare workers.
The event, set up by advocacy group Global Citizen with the World Health Organisation, aimed to cultivate a sense of community during the pandemic, which has ravaged the global economy with nearly 2.3 million confirmed infections in total.
Stay-at-home orders have been enforced in Italy and Spain, both still the hardest-hit countries in Europe, with death tolls over 20,000, followed by France, which has recorded more than 19,000 fatalities.
As governments around the world grapple with when and how to ease lockdowns, Spain on Saturday extended its nationwide shutdown to May 9.
Japan, Britain and Mexico have all expanded their movement restrictions.
Yet elsewhere, signs that the outbreak could be easing prompted Switzerland, Denmark and Finland to begin reopening shops and schools this week.
Germany has declared the virus “under control” after 3,400 deaths, and is beginning the delicate task of lifting some restrictions without triggering a secondary outbreak — with some shops allowed to reopen Monday, and some children returning to school within weeks.
Iran also allowed some Tehran businesses to reopen on Saturday despite the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak.
“How can I keep staying at home? My family is hungry,” said Hamdollah Mahmoudi, 45, a shopworker in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar.
Meanwhile, many of the world’s 260 million Orthodox Christians are preparing to mark Easter without attending church services.
In Zimbabwe, mass rallies and military parades to mark the country’s 40th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule were canceled.
And Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II will not mark her birthday on Tuesday with a traditional gun salute.
Australia has called for an independent investigation into the global response to the pandemic, including the World Health Organisation’s handling of the crisis.
Its foreign minister said the country would “insist” on a review that would probe, in part, China’s response to the outbreak.