With new cases still surging, the world is recording its highest daily infection counts since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic seven months ago.
On Thursday, the WHO reported a record one-day increase of 338,779 new infections. Globally, more than 5,000 people are dying each day from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The pandemic’s death toll stands at about 1.07 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in the past century and a global crisis with catastrophic consequences.
The World Bank this week said the pandemic is likely to cause the first rise in extreme poverty since 1998 with up to 115 million more people falling into that category this year. The bank had previously estimated up to 100 million people in 2020 would fall below the extreme poverty line, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day.
On the flip side, the pandemic is making the world’s richest even richer. A report from the Swiss bank UBS this week found that the wealth of the world’s 2,189 billionaires reached a new high of $10.2 trillion by the end of July. The wealth of the world’s richest grew by 27.5% between April and July, the report said. Industrialists and healthcare and tech billionaires have done the best, according to the report.
The United States and Brazil, meanwhile, are the worst-hit nations in the world. U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are faulted for downplaying the risk of the virus and hindering efforts to suppress it.
India leads the world in the number of new daily infections and deaths. On average, India is reporting more than 70,000 new daily infections and more than 900 deaths each day. Its death toll stands at more than 106,500 and the virus has been detected in nearly 7 million people in India.