Coronavirus cases cross 5 million globally; 'biggest one-day spike'
The number of coronavirus infections around the world has surpassed the 5 million mark, the latest figures suggested. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization reported 106,000 cases globally, the highest in a single day yet. Meanwhile, Latin America has emerged as a new focal point of the outbreak, reporting the largest portion of new daily cases. Here are more details.
According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, global coronavirus infections have reached 5,001,494, while the death toll stood at 328,227. The United States clocked the highest number of infections with 1,551,853 cases, followed by Russia (317,554 cases) and Brazil (291,579 cases). While Russia reported a relatively low death toll of 3,099, US and Brazil deaths stood at 93,439 and 18,859 respectively.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday, "In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO — the most in a single day since the outbreak began." He said that around "two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries." The United Kingdom has reported the fourth-highest number of infections (249,619 cases with 35,786 deaths).
The surge in cases in Latin America has mostly been due to Brazil; the nation accounts for nearly half of all cases in the region. Brazil has been facing criticism for its handling of the outbreak. It reported 888 new deaths and nearly 20,000 new infections on Wednesday. Russia—that has seen a spike in the past weeks—recorded 127 new deaths and 8,849 new cases.
The coronavirus has infected more people in under six months compared to the annual total of severe flu cases (estimated 3-5 million). Russia and Brazil have recently surpassed European countries such as the UK, Spain, Italy, etc. New daily infections in Brazil are now rising at a pace second only to the US. Over half of all global deaths have been reported from Europe.