Coronavirus has now infected more than 10million people around the world in the most devastating pandemic in a century.
The number of confirmed infections passed the staggering milestone today, Sunday June 28, according to an online map run by Johns Hopkins University in the US.
Data collected from governments around the world showed that 10,015,904 people had been infected with the disease by today and 499,486 had died.
The US has borne the brunt of the global outbreak’s numbers, recording more than 2.5million confirmed cases – a quarter of the total – followed by 1.3m in Brazil, 633,000 in Russia and 311,000 in the UK.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, a leading scientist advising politicians in Britain, said even these harrowing figures are ‘in reality both underestimates’.
The World Health Organization said the number of Covid-19 cases is more than double the number of severe flu cases the world would see in a normal year.
Covid-19 first appeared in China in January and has since spread to almost every country on Earth on people travelling internationally while infected.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of British research charity the Wellcome Trust, and a member of government advisory group SAGE, said in a tweet that the figures were ‘sobering’.
He wrote: ‘More than 10 million confirmed cases and 500,000 deaths globally directly attributed to COVID19 in ~6 months. In reality both underestimates.
‘Highly populated regions of [Central and South] America, South Asia, Africa not yet experienced full impact of 1st wave. Globally accelerating.’
The grim milestone comes as many hard-hit countries, including Britain, Italy and Spain, are easing lockdowns.
But they must embrace a new normal as they do this, with strict social distancing, working from home and restricted social lives in places for months more.
As much of the Western world appears to be recovering from the worst of the pandemic, other, poorer, nations are in the grip of fast accelerating outbreaks.
Brazil, Russia and India, which seemed to be spared disaster in the outbreak’s early days are all now at the mercy of the fast-spreading virus and have seen cases spiral out of control in recent weeks.
In Brazil and India cases have tripled in a month.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE HAD THE MOST CORONAVIRUS CASES?
The true number of people to have been infected with the coronavirus is a mystery because many countries only test people who are seriously ill or have symptoms – many never realise they are ill or cannot get tested.
These are how official records show the coronavirus spread around the world:
- USA (2,511,725 confirmed cases)
- Brazil (1,313,667)
- Russia (633,542)
- India (528,859)
- UK (311,739)
- Peru (275,989)
- Chile (267,766)
- Spain (248,469)
- Italy (240,136)
- Iran (222,669)
- Mexico (212,802)
- Pakistan (202,955)
- France (199,473)
- Turkey (195,883)
- Germany (194,693)
- Saudi Arabia (182,493)
- Bangladesh (137,787)
- South Africa (131,800)
- Canada (104,878)
- Qatar (94,413)
Data from Johns Hopkins University, accessed 4.30pm, June 28.
Brazil, a South American country home to 210million people, is now experiencing arguably the worst outbreak in the world after the total number of people to have had Covid-19 rocketed from 411,821 on May 28 to more than 1.31million today.
In India, cases soared from 158,333 a month ago to 528,859 today, according to the Our World in Data project.
Health services in New Delhi are on the cusp of being completely overwhelmed because of the pandemic and patients with other conditions are being turned away, The Telegraph reports.
And in Russia the number of Covid-19 cases surged from 370,680 in May to 627,646 this week.
The US remains the worst-hit nation in the world and there have now been 2,511,725 cases and 125,559 deaths, Johns Hopkins’ data shows.
The US’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, has warned ‘the window is closing’ for the US to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.
Mr Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South. He says people have ‘to act responsibly’ by social distancing and wearing face masks especially ‘in these hot zones.’
Mr Azar argued that the US is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has treatments available.
But he acknowledged that hospitalisations and deaths could increase in the next few weeks.
Texas and Florida reversed course on parts of their reopening and clamped down on bars on Friday as the daily number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US surged to an all-time high of 40,000.
Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern in the coming months and into 2021.
North America, Latin America and Europe each account for around 25 per cent of cases, while Asia and the Middle East have around 11 per cent and nine per cent respectively, according to Reuters.
The total number of cases continued to increase at a rate of between 1-2 per cent a day in the past week, down from rates above 10 per cent in March.
Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have seen new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely quashing local transmission.
In Beijing, where hundreds of new cases were linked to an agricultural market, testing capacity has been ramped up to 300,000 a day.
The United States, which has reported the most cases of any country at more than 2.5 million, managed to slow the spread of the virus in May, only to see it expand in recent weeks to rural areas and other places that were previously unaffected.
In some countries with limited testing capabilities, case numbers reflect a small proportion of total infections. Roughly half of reported infections are known to have recovered.