Coronavirus cases worldwide top two million


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The coronavirus pandemic has reached a grim landmark, with more than two million cases confirmed worldwide.
Almost 700,000 of those cases are people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Spain has 170,000 and Italy has almost 160,000, with France, Germany, the UK, and China also having a high number of cases.
On Monday evening, the UK announced more than 11,000 people have died after testing positive for the disease and that there are almost 90,000 confirmed cases.
A member of the government’s scientific advice committee has warned that the UK could end up being the “worst-affected country in Europe”.
It comes as a number of European countries start to consider how best to end the restrictions placed on societies in an effort to limit the spread of the illness.
Spain allowed employees in industry and construction to return to work on Monday after a two-week shutdown closed all sectors apart from healthcare and food.
Italy, Ireland and Greece have extended their restrictions into May and the UK is expected to do the same.
The World Health Organisation has warned that restrictions should be lifted slowly to avoid a resurgence of the virus.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said appropriate measures should be in place before lockdowns are lifted, including “significant” capacity for tracking infections and contacts of those infected.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Dr Ghebreyesus said: “While COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly.
“In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up.
“That means control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control.”
Dr Ghebreyesus added: “Our global connectedness means the risk of re-introduction and resurgence of the disease will continue.
“Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission.”
There is no vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19 but there are a number of companies and countries urgently researching both.
In the UK, Foreign Secretary and acting prime minister Dominic Raab said the government does not expect to make any changes to the UK restrictions as they move into their fourth week.
The government has also not revealed any details of how it plans to bring the UK out of the “lockdown”, despite being questioned on this a number of times.
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