Coronavirus cases top 9 million worldwide


Nearly half a year after the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in mainland China, the pandemic has spread worldwide and surpassed the 9 million-cases milestone.

The total stands at 9,044,563, according to tracking by late Sunday. And about 5.2 percent of them have resulted in deaths: 470,665.

Roughly 0.12 percent of the 7.8 billion people in the world have contracted the disease. And the death toll is 60 per million people.

The outbreak started in China, then spread to Europe, especially Italy, before hitting hard in the United States, where the first death was reported on Feb. 29.

The United States leads the world in deaths with more than 122,000 and 2.3 million cases — about one-quarter of the world totals. Seven-tenths of 1 percent of the population have tested positive and 369 per million have died from the virus.

The disease has been stabilizing in many parts of the world — with 4,428 additional deaths Saturday compared with a high of 8,435 on April 17. But COVID-19’s cases and deaths are mounting in Latin America — Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile — as well as India and Russia.

The first cases were confirmed on Dec. 31 in China but health experts believe people were infected with the virus months earlier in the most populous country of 1.5 billion people.

The first death from coronavirus was confirmed on Jan. 11 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. In all, 4,634 people have died from the disease in the Asian nation, though no fatalities have been announced since April 27. And since then, only 522 cases have been added for a total of 83,378, including 26 on Sunday. One week ago, the 57 cases Sunday were the highest since 89.

After a new outbreak was linked to a wholesale food mark in Beijing, which has 20 million people, testing was expanded with more than 360,000 tests over a few days. Since June 11, Beijing has recorded more than 200 locally transmitted infections.

South Korea has largely contained the outbreak with extensive testing and contact tracing, but on Saturday reported 67 new cases, the largest daily jump in about three weeks. On Sunday, there were 48 new cases for a total of 12,373 cases as well as 280 deaths.

In Europe, the virus hit Italy hard — with the first death reported on Feb. 21, peaking to a daily total of 919 on March 27 and topping the global list for weeks after displacing China. The country instituted a nationwide lockdown on March 9.

Although five other European nations would join Italy in the top 10 for most deaths, the fatalities have greatly diminished to a few hundred among all of them — by far the lowest since the pandemic.

Germany, which is no longer in the top 10, reported 1 death on Sunday and is in 11th place in terms of worldwide fatalities. No. 6 Spain also counted only one death while No. 4 Italy announced 24, No. 3 Britain increased by 43 deaths and No. 5 France rose by 7. Not reporting statistics yet Sunday was No. 9 Belgium, which gained 1 death on Saturday.

European nations are easing restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that Britain is “on track” to further ease its nationwide lockdown.

Source: UPI