The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has reached 20 million.
The grim milestone – based on a count by the Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the development of the pandemic – was reached in the early hours of Tuesday, UK time, with 20,011,186 cases reported.
Experts believe the real figure of worldwide cases is much higher due to testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of people infected have no symptoms.
Image: Tourists wear masks in the streets of Bonifacio, Corsica
The total number of coronavirus deaths stands at 734,664, according to experts at the American University Johns Hopkins, which has become the main reference for monitoring the disease.
The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, acknowledged that “behind these statistics there is a great deal of pain and suffering”.
However, he said there were still “green shoots of hope” no matter what stage in an outbreak a country or region might be.
The US has suffered the most coronavirus-related deaths with 163,331, while there have been 101,000 in Brazil; 52,000 in Mexico; 46,611 in the UK; and more than 44,000 in India.
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The US has just passed five million cases; Brazil has reached three million; India is at 2.2 million; and there are almost 900,000 cases in Russia; and 560,000 in South Africa.
The number of cases in the UK has reached 313,392 according to the university, putting it 12th on the worldwide list, just behind Spain.
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The number of coronavirus deaths in some countries which suffered the most in the earlier months of the pandemic appears to have stabilised.
Italy now ranks behind India in sixth place with 35,209 deaths, while France is next on the list with 30,327, ahead of Spain on 28,575.
Image: A woman mourns her mother, who died from suspected coronavirus, at a funeral in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Peru ranks ninth, with the second-highest fatality rate in South America with 21,072 deaths.
Despite having the fourth-highest number of cases in the world, Russia sits only 11th in terms of death figures, with 14,973.
Similarly, South Africa ranks only 13th by deaths, with 10,621, despite sitting fifth with cases.
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There are signs that the Australian outbreak is subsiding, with the country’s second most populous state Victoria reporting a small rise in COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
It comes after a second wave of the virus forced the city of Melbourne to go back into lockdown.
Image: India has seen 44,000 coronavirus-related deaths
Though the US accounts for a quarter of the world’s 20 million coronavirus cases, new cases have now fallen for three straight weeks.
The recent decline in new cases came predominantly from previous hotspots, such as Arizona, where new cases fell by more than 48% in the last week.
Source : Sky News