Having diabetes doubles the risk of death as a result of a novel coronavirus infection, according to research published on Thursday in The Lancet , a British medical journal. Saturday is World Diabetes Day. According to the article, “the vulnerability of people with diabetes during a public health emergency became evident by their at least two times increased risk of severe disease or death” after contracting the virus. “Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, comorbidities, or both” are “especially” vulnerable to Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, doctors and scientists from countries including China, Australia, South Africa and the United States found. What is diabetes and why are so many people suffering from this disease in China? According to official data put together by Johns Hopkins University, almost 1.3 million people have died after catching the virus. Official data shows over 52 million infections, though the World Health Organization said in October that the real number could be over 700 million. The pandemic prompted dozens of countries to impose restrictions, cutting back on non-coronavirus health care in the first half the year and inflicting what the researchers labelled “a heavy toll on health care systems and the global economy”. The researchers described as “staggering” the “global burden of diabetes”, with an estimated 463 million adults affected in 2019. Some 4.2 million people died last year “as a result of the condition and its complications”, according to the research team, which includes academics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London. Meanwhile, the WHO and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that measles killed around 207,500 people last year around the world. The number is 50 per cent higher than in 2016, when measles fatalities had reached a historic low. Annual deaths have been rising since then. Although the number of reported cases this year has been lower than last year, the health agencies warned that vaccination campaigns have been paused in 26 countries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, nearly 870,000 people caught the highly infectious measles virus, the highest reported number since 1996. Major outbreaks were seen in nine countries including the Central African Republic, Congo, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.