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Coronavirus: Global total of infected nears 2m

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By Orlando Crowcroft  & AP
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Maclola Orozco restocks food at El Rancho grocery store in Dallas, Monday, April 13, 2020.
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Maclola Orozco restocks food at El Rancho grocery store in Dallas, Monday, April 13, 2020.   -   Copyright  LM Otero/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Global cases of coronavirus neared the grim milestone of two million on Monday night as lockdowns continued or were extended in nations across the world to slow the spread of the virus.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the extension of France's lockdown - which has been in place since March 17 to May 11. The latest figures show the virus has killed 14,967 people in France, including more than 9,000 in hospital.

The UK announced that more than 11,000 people have died just one day after the country's leader, Boris Johnson, was discharged from hospital where he was suffering with COVID-19.

In other badly-affected states, lockdown rules were relaxed: In Spain, employees in some industries were allowed to return to work after a two-week shutdown.

But the World Health Organization warned countries considering lifting lockdowns against COVID-19 should do so only slowly and "with control".

"It cannot happen all at once," WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a daily news briefing.

"While COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up," he said.

Patients and medical workers wear personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns outside the emergency room at NYU Langone Medical Center, Monday, April 13, 2020, in New York.
APTOPIX Virus Outbreak New YorkPatients and medical workers wear personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns outside the emergency room at NYU Langone Medical Center, Monday, April 13, 2020, in New York.John Minchillo

An online dashboard that tracks the global number of confirmed coronavirus cases, maintained by Johns Hopkins University, late Monday night showed the number of cases at than 2 million.

The site was later adjusted to state 1.9 million cases worldwide. It was not immediately clear why the numbers changed. Of those 1.9 million cases, nearly 120,000 people have died, while nearly 449,600 have recovered.

The U.S.

The number of cases in the US is now more than 582,000, with 120,000 deaths - 100,000 of them in New York.

New York's governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday the state had seen its death toll from coronavirus top 10,000 - only around a month since it registered its first fatality.

There were 671 new deaths on Sunday, the first time in a week the daily toll dipped below 700. But Cuomo said the count has been "basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow." New York has now reported 10,056 deaths since early March.

"This virus is very good at what it does. It is a killer,'' Cuomo said during a state Capitol news briefing. Meanwhile, hospitals are still getting about 2,000 new patients a day, he added.

Asia

China, where the pandemic began, reported 89 new virus cases on Tuesday, 86 of them among travelers arriving from abroad, but no new deaths. The country’s total death toll stood at 3,341 out of 82,249 cases.

South Korea on Tuesday reported its 13th day in a row with fewer than 100 confirmed cases of the virus, as infections continued to wane in the worst-hit city of Daegu and nearby towns. In early March, the country was reporting about 500 new cases per day.

'We do a lot'

Meanwhile, a senior politician in one of the few countries in Europe not to impose a France or Italy-style lockdown - Sweden - told Euronews on Monday that his government should be judged at the end of the crisis on whether its approach as worked.

Sweden's Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren said that despite Sweden not closing workplaces or bars and restaurants - as has been seen in France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere - and a rising death toll from coronavirus, the country was taking the pandemic seriously.

Read more: Is Sweden's COVID-19 strategy working?

"I think we do a lot to fight this pandemic, to help stop the spread of this virus and also to protect those who are most vulnerable," he said.

"We have forbidden the universities and schools to continue with the education; we have forbidden visitors to visit the homes of the elderly; we've really encouraged everyone over 70-years-old to stay at home; we encourage everyone who can, to work from home."

As of Monday 13 April the country has more than 10,000 confirmed cases and over 900 deaths linked to the coronavirus, but Sweden's neighbours Denmark, Finland, and Norway, were among the first European states to impose lockdowns as the virus spread.