The worldwide death toll from Covid-19 has passed 90,000, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

More than half of the 90,938 fatalities have been recorded in Italy, Spain and the United States.

Italy has the most deaths with 18,279, followed by Spain with 15,238, the US with 14,830, and France with 12,210.

The fatalities have occurred in 192 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China late last year.

More than 1.5 million (1,534,426) confirmed cases of coronavirus have been registered worldwide.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are only testing the most serious cases.

New York sees drop in new hospitalizations, deaths keep rising

New York state - the epicentre of the outbreak in the US - has seen a sharp drop in the number of people newly admitted to a hospital in the past 24 hours to the lowest level since the outbreak began.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the figure (200) is a sign that social distancing steps are working.

But Mr Cuomo added that the number of deaths increased to 799 yesterday - a record high for a third day - and talked about a growing economic toll on the state that he said far exceeded the impact of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

New York has now recorded 7,067 deaths from Covid-19.

France reports first decrease in coronavirus intensive care patients

France has reported its first fall in the number of patients in intensive care suffering from Covid-19 since the coronavirus epidemic began, with 82 fewer people in ICUs compared with the day earlier.

There are now 7,066 patients in intensive care, top French health official Jerome Salomon told reporters, adding that the total combined death toll in hospitals and nursing homes had now risen to 12,210.

Urging people to keep on observing a nationwide lockdown, he said: "Thanks to these measures, we are in the process of putting the brakes on the epidemic."
 


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The pandemic is developing in areas previously only lightly affected: in Africa, Ethiopia declared a state of emergency and Liberia said it was locking down its capital Monrovia.

It has also crept deep into the Amazon rainforest, with the first case detected among the Yanomami, an indigenous people isolated from the world until the mid-20th century and vulnerable to disease.

All around the world, medical facilities are at bursting point as they struggle with a relentless procession of critically-ill patients.

In the badly affected city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, sick patients are passing out before arriving at emergency care and the elderly are slumped outside in wheelchairs at overwhelmed hospitals.

Governments are wrestling with the problem of when to exit lockdown procedures and reboot a global economy that is effectively in deep freeze.

The World Trade Organization warned the pandemic was likely to spark the deepest recession "of our lifetimes," with global trade poised to plummet by one third.

In India, a virus-induced lockdown is hitting the millions of poor hardest as they wait for promised government food subsidies.

The pandemic has forced half of humanity inside, an unprecedented measure that has allowed wildlife to reclaim previously choked streets.

Hundreds of monkeys in India are running riot in the roads around the presidential palace while peacocks display their spectacular trains on top of parked cars in Mumbai.