April 26 (UPI) -- The death toll from coronavirus passed 200,000 and cases neared 3 million worldwide Sunday though the rate of new cases and deaths have been declining, and nations are easing restrictions.
An additional 3,751 deaths were reported, which significantly less than the 6,609 announced Saturday, according to tracking by Worldometers.info.
Sunday's increase was 1.8 percent compared with a 3.1 percent Saturday -- much lower than when the outbreak was skyrocketing several weeks ago. The number of new cases was 73,858, compared with 90,722 Saturday.
In past weeks, the death rate had been doubling every seven days from CIVID-19.
One week ago, the toll was 160,364 and two weeks ago the count was 112,265. Last Sunday, there were 2.3 million cases compared with 1.8 million the previous week.
The United States heads the list with 55,413 deaths, roughly one-quarter of the world total, and 987,160 cases, which is about one-third of the global number.
The decline has been especially evident in Europe with 121,885 deaths. Most nations' increases the past few days have been under 2 percent compared compared with near double digits a few weeks ago.
Behind the United States, the next seven spots on the list are occupied by European nations -- No. 2 Italy, No. 3 Spain, No. 4 France, No. 5 Britain, No. 6 Belgium and No. 7 Germany. Rounding out the top 10 are Iran, followed by China and another European nation, the Netherlands.
The seven nations in Europe range from 66 to 413 new deaths.
In Italy, which at one time was an epicenter, only 260 deaths were reported Sunday, a 1 percent increase, for a total of 26,664, and lower than 4215 Saturday. The high was 919 deaths on March 27.
On Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told La Repubblica that manufacturing plants will reopen on May 4 but schools will remain closed until September. He said "strategic" businesses will require the approval of local authorities and will have to introduce strict safety measures.
The county went into a lockdown in March, including starting out in the hard-hit northern portion of the nation.
Spain, with 23,190 deaths, also is easing restrictions amid declining numbers -- a 1.3 percent increase with 288 deaths reported Sunday, which is the lowest since March 20. The high was 961 on April 2.
For the first time since a state of emergency six weeks ago, children were allowed outdoors if they are accompanied by their parents.
"The data shows a clear descending trend, it is true that because it is the weekend we need to analyze it carefully but the scale of the descent is important," Fernando Simon, who is Spain's director of Emergencies, told journalists.
France's increase also has been declining. On Sunday 242 deaths were reported after 369 Saturday, for a 1.1 percent increase, to 22,614. The high was 1,438 on April 15.
President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday issued an ultimatum to European Union embers in Northern Europe to spend more to help southern states. Otherwise, the single market will be no longer there." He specifically named Germany and the Netherlands.
Germany, a nation of 83 million, has had more success mitigating the spread of the virus, including heavy testing. On Sunday, the nation reported 36 deaths after 117 deaths Saturday for a total of 5,913. Its high was 333 on April 8.
However, Prime Minister Angela Merkel has said the coronavirus pandemic is "still at the beginning" and warned residents to continue social distancing despite good numbers.
"It is precisely because the figures give rise to hope that I feel obliged to say that this interim result is fragile," Merkel told parliament. "We are still far from out of the woods. We are not in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at the beginning."
Britain's new deaths declined significantly from the day before: 413 Sunday vs. 813 Saturday, with the latter the second highest in the world behind the United States. The record was 980 on April 10 and the lowest number subsequently was 449 until Sunday's figure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to return to work Monday after being sidelined for three weeks from the virus, including a stay in intensive care at a hospital. He was discharged on April 12.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Johnson's return will be a "boost for the country."
Britain has reported 20,732 deaths but the figures are only from hospitals.
Trailing far behind the top five is Belgium with 7,094 including 177 more fatalities Sunday after 238 Saturday.
Iran is close behind Germany with 5,710, including 60 more deaths reported Sunday.
In all, 17,243 have died in Asia.
China, where the virus emerged, has reported no deaths for 11 days in a row to stand at 4,632. The nation reported 11 cases and six were attributed to travelers coming from overseas.
On Sunday, China's National Health Commission said that there are no hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. The total number of infected people who were treated in the city and discharged numbered around 46,552.
Elsewhere in the Far East, Korea reported 2 deaths for a total of 242 and 10 cases on Sunday. Japan announced 15 more deaths for a total of 360, and 519 more cases.
India reported only one more death Sunday for a total of 826. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the lockdown to May 3, but allowed allowed select activities from April 20 in some areas that are least affected by the outbreak.
Russia's death toll is listed as 747 with 66 more reported Sunday, but its cases have been surging, including 6,361 more for a total of 80,949 in sixth place compared to 20th place in deaths. Nearby Turkey reported 2,805 more cases and 99 more deaths.
Brazil has about two thirds of the 6,289 deaths in South America, announcing 226 after 275 more Saturday for a total of 4,271. Residents have called for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro. On Friday, he disputed claims from his former justice minister Sérgio Moro, who resigned, that he had sought to appoint a new federal police chief to gain access to secret intelligence reports.
Africa has 1,427 deaths, led by Algeria with 425.
In Oceania, there are only 101 fatalities -- 83 in Australia and 18 in New Zealand. Queensland and Western Australia announced they will ease social distancing restrictions, allowing some outdoor recreational activities.
In North America, all but 3,000 were outside the United States. That includes 2,560 in Canada, including 95 more Sunday and Mexico announced 84 fatalities for a total of 1,305.
Provinces that include New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in Canada are planning to cautiously begin reopening businesses.
Bloomberg reported that the Mexican government's reported cases of 13,005 may be undercounted because severe acute respiratory infections have skyrocketed 50 percent.