| International Covid-19 update: ‘UK could see 66 000 death toll’, people rush out of Wuhan

The UK could see as many as 66 000 Covid-19 deaths during the first wave of the current pandemic, new research showed has shown. 

This comes as the country announced a record 786 deaths in just one day on Tuesday, AFP reports. 

Modelling conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine showed that approximately 151 680 people were likely to die from the virus across the continent.

While the novel coronavirus emerged in China and was initially focussed in east Asia, the World Health Organization now says the pandemic is centred in western Europe, with Spain, Italy and France experiencing devastating death tolls. Most European nations have introduced strict social distancing measures to try to stem the virus spread.

More than 5 000 people have died from the virus in the UK, which is fewer than in Spain, Italy and France.

But Britain’s epidemic lags behind the rest of the continent by several days, and its death toll trajectory is already steeper than other nations.

New York records highest daily death toll

AFP reports that New York state has recorded its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday, adding though that hospitalizations appeared to be “plateauing.”

Cuomo said 731 people succumbed to the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing the state’s total death toll to 5 489, AFP reports.

Thousands flock to leave Wuhan as outbound travel ban ends

Thousands of travellers flocked to catch trains leaving Wuhan early on Wednesday, AFP reports, as authorities lifted a ban on outbound travel from the hard-hit city where the global coronavirus pandemic first emerged.

This comes after more than two months of isolation that began when the government imposed an unprecedented lockdown in late January in an ultimately failed bid to contain the contagion.

Top animated film festival cancelled 

The world’s top animated film festival was cancelled Tuesday because of the coronavirus, but organisers said they would hold an online version instead.

The Annecy Festival in eastern France is the latest in a string of major cultural events to be cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 60th annual gathering was due to start on 15 June.

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