BEIJING (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday according to a Reuters tally, marking a major milestone in the spread of the respiratory disease that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.
The figure is roughly double the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organisation.
The milestone comes as many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.
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% of cases, while Asia and the Middle East have around 11% and 9% respectively, according to the Reuters tally, which uses government reports.
There have been more than 497,000 fatalities linked to the disease so far, roughly the same as the number of influenza deaths reported annually.
The first cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on Jan. 10 in Wuhan in China, before infections and fatalities surged in Europe, then the United States, and later Russia.
(Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-cases/global-coronavirus-cases-exceed-10-million-idUSKBN23Z00F)