The World Health Organization says its “best estimates” indicate that roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide may have been infected by the coronavirus.
That estimate — which would amount to more than 760 million people based on a current world population of about 7.6 billion — far outstrips the number of confirmed cases as tallied by both WHO and Johns Hopkins University, now more than 35 million worldwide.
Experts have long said that the number of confirmed cases greatly underestimates the true figure, reports Jamey Keaten from Geneva.
- French authorities have placed the Paris region on maximum virus alert, banning festive gatherings and requiring all bars to close but allowing restaurants to remain open, as numbers of infections are rapidly increasing.
- The British government has launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new infections went unreported as a result of a technical glitch. The failing could have given fresh impetus to the country’s coronavirus outbreak and ultimately to an uptick in deaths.
- Although the speed of new infections is waning, hard-hit Spain has accumulated more than 800,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic as scientists and health workers redouble their criticism for how the country’s politicians have responded to it.
- Sri Lanka has confirmed a cluster of more than 300 infected garment factory workers, days after reporting its first community infection in two months.
- About 25 residents from remote Easter Island who have been stranded far from their loved ones for more than six months because of the coronavirus will finally be able to return home this week on a French military plane.
Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox: They make up roughly 10% of the population, yet account for over one-third of the country’s coronavirus patients. Segments of the community refuse to comply with safety regulations and insist on maintaining a tight-knit way of life. The violations of Israel’s lockdown rules by some among the ultra-Orthodox population have confounded public health experts and tested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s longstanding political alliance with religious leaders.
They also have triggered resentment in the country’s secular population, who fear that the ultra-Orthodox community’s political clout is threatening public health and livelihoods. The ultra-Orthodox claim they are being unfairly targeted by the authorities, Tia Goldenberg reports from Tel Aviv.
There is also a new surge of COVID-19 in New York City’s Orthodox Jewish communities. As a result, many residents are reviving health measures they abandoned over the summer, such as social distancing and wearing masks. For many, there’s also a return of anger. They feel the city is singling them out for criticism, David Crary and Marian Fam report.