It is being reported that the world is now facing the deadliest period of the coronavirus pandemic so far. The five worst days in terms of global Covid-19 deaths all came within the past 10 days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA.
In the United States, the daily death toll has hit a new record on three consecutive days. Yesterday, that figure topped 4,000 deaths for the first time ever.
Germany, South Africa and Sweden also reported their deadliest days yesterday, while the United Kingdom saw its worst day since April. Switzerland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Panama, Slovakia and Lithuania are among the countries that recorded their highest daily fatalities earlier this week.
The new, more contagious, strains of the virus appear to be responsible for some of the spikes in cases. South Africa, where one of the variants was first identified, has seen more than 200,000 new cases in the past two weeks. At the same time, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding at the country's frontier with Zimbabwe, where hundreds of workers have been blocked by a national lockdown that bans cross-border travel.
Public health officials across the world are desperately pleading with citizens to stick to the well-known safety precautions. Avoiding large gatherings, limiting contacts with those outside your household and wearing a mask are key.
This applies even if you don’t feel sick. A study published yesterday found that more than half of Covid-19 cases may have been transmitted by people not showing symptoms.