SHOOTING DATE UNKNOWN1QM5M5JAKARTA, INDONESIAAPRIL 15, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
1WF9ZIBUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINAAUGUST 11, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
1QR6SUMANAUS, BRAZILAPRIL 22, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
A grim milestone
More than one million people have now died from Covid-19
A loss keenly felt by those closest to the victims
8QM2YRLENASIA, NORTH WEST PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICASEPTEMBER 21, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
SOUNDBITE - Aboobaker Sayed, Head of Saaberie Chishty ambulance service (male, English):The first time the pandemic really hit home was when my mum was ill. (...) So my first reaction was: 'Am I going to lose my mum? Is my mum going to die? What happens next?' And then it was just so difficult because we all were in shock, we didn't know what to do, what's next to be done?
SOUNDBITE - Aboobaker Sayed, Head of Saaberie Chishty ambulance service (male, English):My father also became ill, and unfortunately his chest was also closing up on him, we tried the home-based oxygen treatment and it wasn't working. After a few phone calls I found a hospital for him in Sandton, and we took him to the hospital. And that day, little did I realise it was the last day I was going to see my father's face.
SOUNDBITE - Aboobaker Sayed, Head of Saaberie Chishty ambulance service (male, English):I find peace in praying for them, I find peace really with visiting their graves and just sitting around them, because you can still feel their presence. They might not be physically with us, but spiritually around us you can feel their presence.
Aboobaker Sayed runs an ambulance service near Johannesburg
He lost both his father and uncle to Covid-19
8QL7WWDAMASCUS, SYRIASEPTEMBER 23, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
SOUNDBITE - Shamiram Darwish, Syrian journalist (female, Arabic):He always supported me and I loved him, he was my everything. He was the person who, no matter what happened to me, was there for me and accepted me. He stood by my side and he faced everything with a smile.
SOUNDBITE - Shamiram Darwish, Syrian journalist (female, Arabic):I used to have morning coffee with my father every day, he was the one who made the coffee, and sometimes he would ask me to make it myself and tell me that he loves the coffee I made. We used to drink coffee for an hour every day. It was a daily routine, it was an essential hour in my life, we talked about our lives and our problems. He was someone who loved his family very much, as he used to tell me I do not have friends, you are my friend.
SOUNDBITE - Shamiram Darwish, Syrian journalist (female, Arabic):When you lose your father while you are living in a country at war and in difficult economic conditions, you feel as though you have lost the barrier that stands between you and the troubles of this life.
Shamiram Darwish works as a journalist in Syria's capital
In July, she lost her father to Covid-19
8QG3H6BERGAMO, LOMBARDY, ITALYSEPTEMBER 19, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
SOUNDBITE - Carlo Chiodi, truck driver who lost both his parents to Covid-19 (male, 50 years old, Italian):What I have a hard time accepting is that I saw my father walking out of the house, getting into the ambulance, and all I could say to him was "goodbye". I regret not saying "I love you" and I regret not hugging him. That still hurts me. My parents were alone and they were abandoned.
SOUNDBITE - Carlo Chiodi, truck driver who lost both his parents to Covid-19 (male, 50 years old, Italian):When what happened to me happens to someone, one can either lose faith in God or strengthen it. I have strengthened my faith.
VATICAN CITY, HOLY SEEAUGUST 23, 2020SOURCE: CARLO CHIODIRESTRICTIONS:NO RESALE
SOUNDBITE - Carlo Chiodi, truck driver who lost both his parents to Covid-19 (male, 50 years old, Italian):The first thing I said (to pope Francis) is that I was furious with God. He looked at me and told me that it was okay to be angry, that it was a form of prayer. He was also furious with God because he couldn't do anything.
SOUNDBITE - Carlo Chiodi, truck driver who lost both his parents to Covid-19 (male, 50 years old, Italian):Whose fault is it? Everyone shifts the blame onto others. I cannot say anything about the doctors, they did not expect such a disaster. I don't know whose fault it is but someone made a mistake and that someone must pay for what happened.
Carlo Chiodi is a truck driver in Italy
He lost both his parents to Covid-19
8QP7YBJAKARTA, INDONESIASEPTEMBER 24, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
SOUNDBITE - Thomas Kartono, Protestant pastor (male, 51 years old, Indonesian):I reached a point when I felt like I was about to die. My wife was praying next to me, she said, 'hang in there, be strong, for our children.' I heard that, I had to fight. There were 1,000 reasons to give up, but one reason to keep fighting: the sincere love of my wife and children. That made me strong and I prayed, 'God, give me a chance to reunite with my family.'
SOUNDBITE - Thomas Kartono, Protestant pastor (male, 51 years old, Indonesian):After learning (that my wife was also infected) we were struggling. I thought, it's a matter who would die first, me or my wife? I said to God, 'if I have to die, I'm ready. But what about our children?' My wife was crying, 'No, please no, we have to fight for our children.'
SOUNDBITE - Thomas Kartono, Protestant pastor (male, 51 years old, Indonesian):After learning that my wife had passed away, I felt like I was thrown up and couldn't get my feet on the ground. At that point, I was devastated. Psychologically, I was having major depression.
SOUNDBITE - Thomas Kartono, Protestant pastor (male, 51 years old, Indonesian):It was one test after another. After losing my wife, the children were still in shock. (..)My daughter wanted to be with me, so she slept on the floor next to the door of my room. She wanted to be with me while grieving after losing her mother but she couldn't. That really hurt me.
Thomas Kartono is a Protestant pastor in Jakarta
He survived Covid-19, but lost his wife to the disease
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Despite toll, never too late to fight pandemic: WHO chiefGeneva, Sept 29, 2020 (AFP) - The grim milestone of one million Covid-19 deaths should spur the planet into fighting back against the disease, the WHO insisted Tuesday, saying it was "never too late to turn things around".The World Health Organization's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there were encouraging signs of hope, citing vaccine candidates in final-stage trials.And he said that while the world awaited scientific breakthroughs, the new coronavirus could be effectively contained through proven public health measures."One million people have now been lost to Covid-19 and many more are suffering because of the pandemic," Tedros said in an article in the British online newspaper The Independent."This milestone is a difficult moment for the world but there are glimmers of hope that encourage us now and in the near future."No matter where a country is in an outbreak, it is never too late to turn things around."Tedros outlined four essential steps to get the pandemic under control, starting with preventing amplifying events and protecting vulnerable groups.He stressed the need for individual responsibility in washing hands, wearing masks and keeping a distance; and for governments to find, isolate, test and care for cases, then trace and quarantine their contacts."While today's milestone gives us pause for reflection, this is a moment for us all to come together, in solidarity, to fight back against this virus," Tedros said."History will judge us on the decisions we do and don't make in the months ahead. Let's seize the opportunity and bridge national boundaries to save lives and livelihoods."
- 'One million tragedies' -
Tedros picked out certain countries for praise, notably Thailand, Italy, Uruguay and Pakistan for their handling of the pandemic.He reiterated his call for funding for the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator, a globally-pooled hunt for Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.The programme has just $3 billion of the $38 billion needed to meet the goal of producing and delivering two billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million diagnostic tests over the next year.Meanwhile the Red Cross, also based in Geneva, said the death toll was one more tragic milestone in the rolling humanitarian catastrophe."Today, we stand in grim solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of families that have lost loved ones," said Jagan Chapagain, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies."A million deaths represent one million individual tragedies and countless heartbreaks."He added that while fighting the pandemic, "we need to be planning for the support that millions of people will need to rebuild their lives even once this illness is finally defeated".rjm/nl/txw
newseriesGlobal coronavirus death toll passes one million By Simon Malfatto, with AFP Bureaus
ATTENTION - UPDATES toll, ADDS migrant death ///Paris, Sept 28, 2020 (AFP) - More than one million people have died from coronavirus, according to an AFP toll, marking a grim milestone in the spread of the disease that has ravaged the world economy, inflamed diplomatic tensions and upended lives from Indian slums to New York City.In the nine months since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, schools, businesses, live entertainment, and international travel have been upended by strict stay-at-home measures designed to curb the contagion.Drastic controls that put half of humanity -- more than four billion people -- under some form of lockdown by April at first slowed the spread, but since restrictions were eased, infections have soared again.By 1600 GMT Monday, the disease had claimed 1,002,432 victims from 33,178,275 recorded infections, according to an AFP tally collected from official sources by journalists stationed around the world, and compiled by a dedicated team of data specialists.The United States has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.Behind the figures lie millions of lives shattered by an illness that still holds many mysteries and which cannot yet be effectively treated or prevented, despite a global race to develop drugs and a vaccine. For Italian truck driver Carlo Chiodi, the global mortality statistics include both his parents, whom he lost within days of each other."I saw my father walking out of the house, getting into the ambulance, and all I could say was 'goodbye'," Chiodi, 50, told AFP."I regret not saying 'I love you' and I regret not hugging him."- 'A crisis like no other' -
With new cases again surging worldwide, governments have been forced into an uneasy balancing act: virus controls slow the spread of the disease, but they hurt already reeling economies and businesses.The IMF has warned that the economic upheaval could cause a "crisis like no other", though the Fund's outlook appears brighter now than it did in June.Europe, hit hard by the first wave, is now facing another surge, with Paris, London and Madrid all forced to introduce controls to slow infections threatening to overload hospitals.A million Madrid residents are under partial lockdown, with the city and the surrounding region at the epicentre of Spain's second wave.In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman urged citizens to keep to strict hygiene measures. "The development of infection numbers is of great concern to us," Steffen Seibert said. "We can see from some of our European friends where that could lead."Masks and social distancing in shops, cafes and public transport are now part of everyday life in many cities around the world.Mid-September saw a record rise in cases in most regions and the World Health Organization has warned virus deaths could even double to two million without more global collective action.Infections in India, home to 1.3 billion people, surged past six million on Monday, but authorities pressed ahead with a reopening of the battered South Asian economy.The virus initially hit major metropolises including financial hub Mumbai and capital New Delhi, but has since spread to regional and rural areas where healthcare systems are even more fragile and patchy.Santosh, a student in Delhi, said the virus was now "part of our lives"."You cannot shut down every business, because the economy cannot collapse... Covid-19 is not going to pay the rent."Currently, nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage clinical trials, with hopes some will be rolled out next year.
- Waking up to Covid-19 -
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the illness known as Covid-19 made its first known appearance in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, ground zero of the outbreak.How it got there is still unclear but scientists think it originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal.Wuhan was shut down in January as other countries looked on in disbelief at China's draconian controls, even as they went about their business as usual.By March 11, the virus had emerged in over 100 countries and the WHO declared a pandemic, expressing concern about the "alarming levels of inaction".The least privileged around the globe have been the hardest hit by the breakneck spread of the virus.Greek officials late Sunday announced the first coronavirus death of a migrant living in a camp there, a 61-year-old father-of-two from Afghanistan.The virus has also infected some among the powerful, rich and famous.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a week in hospital. Madonna and Tom Hanks also tested positive.The Tokyo Olympics, Rio's Carnival and the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca are among the major events postponed or disrupted by the pandemic.Some major sports tournaments have resumed but with empty stadiums -- such as Premier League football in England -- or highly restricted spectator counts. The French Open is limiting access to 1,000 tennis fans a day.As the restrictions tighten, protests and anger are rising as businesses worry about their survival and individuals grow concerned about their jobs and families in the face of another round of curbs.Authorities have clashed with anti-lockdown protesters around the world, while blame for the disease and its consequences has led to increased tensions between the United States and China in particular. Along with the turmoil, though, lies some hope, with Wuhan now appearing to have controlled the disease."Life has returned to the kind of flavour we had before," resident An An said. "Everyone living in Wuhan feels at ease."burs-qan/mbx/adp