More than 30 million coronavirus infections have been recorded across the world eight months into the pandemic era, data from worldometers.info has revealed.
The official number of global coronavirus cases is now at least five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.
COVID-19, the potentially dangerous pneumonia-like disease caused by the coronavirus and said to have emanated from a local Wuhan market to spread to over 200 countries, have also claimed nearly 950, 000 lives.
That has exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.
The latest grim milestone came on Thursday night, about six months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic. When made that declaration on March 11, there were 118,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 deaths.
The update came as infections in India surpassed five million to become the world’s highest after the US.
The virus appears to be spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 from Sunday to Tuesday.
Meanwhile, almost 22 million of the infected people have recovered after treatment worldwide.
As of the time of filing this report, there are 30,073,744 confirmed cases across the globe, data from worldometers.info, an online dashboard that tracks global confirmed coronavirus cases.
The data showed steady global growth as the disease’s epicentre shifts again, with India taking centre stage from the United States and Latin America.
Though the U.S still retained its position as the world’s most affected nation by the virus in terms of total caseload, India has consistently outpaced the American country in new daily cases since early August.
India’s single-day tally of 90,802 new coronavirus infections last Monday exceeded the one-day highest increase of 77,299 reported by the United States in mid-July, according to Reuters.
Even with the surging case numbers, Indian authorities have been gradually reopening the country to assuage the economic pain of the pandemic, having imposed a strict early lockdown of the country’s 1.3 billion people in March.
There are 7,301,267 active cases as of the time of reporting. Of that number, about 7,239,986 (99 per cent) are in mild conditions while only 61, 281 (one per cent) cases are in serious or critical conditions.
As at the time of reporting, the global deaths from coronavirus complications has reached 945, 817, data from worldometers.info showed.
The Americas still account for more than half of all fatalities worldwide owing to high death counts in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.
An average of more than 5,000 people die each day from COVID-19, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the last two weeks.
Africa is still the least affected region so far, accounting for only about six per cent of global cases.
Over 33, 000 people have died in the continent of over a billion.
These include the former Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari; the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango; and Somalia’s former prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein.
The African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) said Monday that the continent has reported 1, 373,986 cases and 33, 251 deaths, about five times lower than the U.S. figures alone.
Significantly, a third of all infected persons – 1,127,034– have recovered and have been discharged after treatment.
But while Africa is faring better compared to other regions, concerns have shifted from the daily rise of infections to the economic downturn, plummeting oil and commodity prices, and an imploding tourism sector occasioned by the restrictions put in place to contain the disease.
The virus has spread to all 54 countries in Africa, stretching already fragile healthcare systems and crippling economies.
The pandemic has triggered the continent’s first recession in 25 years, according to the World Bank.
Thousands of workers have been rendered redundant, with several businesses closing up.
About 20 million jobs are at risk in Africa due to the impact of the contagion, according to an African Union (AU) study.
Confirmed coronavirus infections in Nigeria appear to be taking a downward turn as authorities shuffle plans of full reopening of the economy.
Just 79 cases were recorded on Sunday, the country’s lowest daily tally in almost six months.
Nigeria has recorded more than 56, 000 total infections so far, according to Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The country has slightly improved in its testing regime. The number of people tested thus far is nearing 500, 000 in a country of about 200 million people.