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Jumat, 08 Januari 2021

Grim day as US, UK and Germany all see record high COVID-related deaths - ABC News

The United Kingdom, Germany and the United States have all recorded their highest daily death tolls from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday the UK recorded 1,325 deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 28 days, eclipsing the previous record of 1,224 that occurred on April 21 last year during the first peak of the pandemic.

An additional 68,053 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the same 24 hour period, another record, and London has declared a "major incident" with Mayor Sadiq Khan warning hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed by a new highly transmissible strain of the virus.

The designation of a "major incident" in the UK is usually reserved for terror attacks or grave accidents, notably those likely to involve "serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security".

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London's last "major incident" was the Grenfell Tower fire in a high-rise residential block in 2017, when 72 people died.

Mr Khan said there were parts of London where 1 in 20 people had the virus.

The pressure on the ambulance service, which was now dealing with up to 9,000 emergency calls a day, meant firefighters were being drafted in to drive vehicles, and police officers would follow.

The UK is currently in a national lockdown which came into effect earlier this week, while the total death toll stands at 78,833.

US deaths top 4,000 per day for first time

If the UK figures look grim they pale in comparison to the United States which topped 4,000 daily deaths from the coronavirus for the first time, breaking a record set just one day earlier.

The tally from Johns Hopkins University shows the US had 4,085 deaths Thursday, along with nearly 275,000 new coronavirus cases as it deals with a COVID crisis alongside the unrest caused in the Capitol this week when supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol leading to five deaths.

The numbers are another reminder of the worsening situation following travel for holidays and family gatherings, along with more time indoors during the winter months.

There's been a surge in cases and deaths in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

A tent field hospital is set up in California to treat COVID patients.
Tent hospitals have been set up in California to treat cases of COVID-19.(Reuters: Bing Guan)

More than 365,000 Americans have died from coronavirus.

On Friday a spokesman for President-elect Joe Biden said he will aim to release more available doses of coronavirus vaccine when he takes office, a departure from Trump administration strategy of holding back a supply to make sure second doses are available.

"The President-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible," TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden's transition team, told Reuters.

Mr Biden will reveal more next week about how his administration will begin releasing the available doses once he takes office on January 20, Mr Ducklo said in a statement.

Some small amount may be reserved for unforeseen circumstances but Mr Ducklo said more vaccines would be released than are currently.

'Every two minutes someone dies from the virus in Germany'

Also on Friday, Germany reported a record 1,188 daily COVID-19 deaths, only days after further tightening a national lockdown amid fears that a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus may put additional strain on struggling hospitals.

Europe's largest and most populous economy hopes to be able to limit the spread of the virus until enough of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers agreed to restrict non-essential travel for residents of hard-hit areas all over Germany for the first time, after a lockdown decreed in December failed to significantly reduce infection numbers.

The death toll reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases on Friday surpassed a previous record of 1,129 registered on December 30, taking the total in connection with the pandemic to 38,795.

RKI also confirmed another 31,849 new infections, one of the highest daily tallies so far.

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2021-01-08 18:24:00Z
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