More than one million dead from Covid-19

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A gravedigger works at the San Miguel Xico cemetery in Mexico on Thursday, amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. AFP

More than one million people have died from the novel coronavirus, with no let-up in the pandemic that has ravaged the world economy, inflamed diplomatic tensions and upended lives from Indian slums and Brazilian jungles to the US’ biggest city.

Sports, live entertainment and international travel ground to a halt as fans, audiences and tourists were forced to stay at home under strict measures imposed to curb the contagion.

Drastic controls that put half of humanity – more than four billion people – under some form of lockdown by April at first slowed the spread, but since restrictions were eased, infections have soared again.

By 0630 GMT on Monday, the disease had claimed 1,001,093 victims from 33,112,474 recorded infections, according to a tally collected from official sources by journalists stationed around the world, and compiled by a dedicated team of data specialists.

The US has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

With scientists still racing to develop a vaccine, governments have again been forced into an uneasy balancing act – virus controls slow the spread of the disease, but they hurt already reeling economies and businesses.

Europe, hit hard by the first wave, is now facing another surge in cases, with Paris, London and Madrid all forced to introduce controls to slow infections threatening to overload hospitals.

Mid-September saw a record rise in cases in most regions and the World Health Organisation has warned virus deaths could even double to two million without more global collective action.

Infections in India, home to 1.3 billion people, surged past six million on Monday, but authorities pressed ahead with a reopening of the battered South Asian economy.