Global COVID-19 cases top 1 million, deaths hit 50,000

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Reported COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 1 million on Thursday, April 2. doubling in a week as the virus spreads across Europe and North America and establishes a toehold in Africa. Just before global cases surprised the 1 million mark, the COVID-19 worldwide death toll passed 50,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.S. which the hardest hit globally, the outbreak has thrown 10 million Americans out of work in just two weeks in the swiftest, most stunning collapse the U.S. job market has ever witnessed, and the public health crisis deepened in New York City, where a funeral home in a hard-hit neighbourhood had 185 bodies stacked up Thursday — more than triple normal capacity.

The dire news of a record-shattering 6.6 million new unemployment claims, on top of last week’s unprecedented 3.3 million, came as economists warned unemployment could reach levels not seen since the Depression.

Competition for scarce ventilators, masks and other protective gear seemed to grow more desperate and deaths mounted with alarming speed in Italy, Spain and New York, the most lethal hot spot in the United States, with nearly 2,400 lives lost.

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