Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, more than 20 million people have been infected across the world, data from worldometers.info has revealed.
COVID19, 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 over 700, 000 lives.
The latest grim milestone came on Sunday night, about five 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 new tally came as the U.S. cases surpassed five million and with India registering a record 1,007 fatalities in the past 24 hours.
Four months ago on April 2, the world crossed a million cases. Thirteen days later on April 15, two million cases had been recorded and on April 22 the tally reached 2.5 million.
When the number of infections crossed 10 million on July 1, WHO head, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the worst was yet to come. He warned that the virus would infect many more people if governments did not start to implement the right policies.
The disease has gripped Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia and is beginning to ravage Africa and South America too.
There is no vaccine yet for coronavirus and the pathogen has been mutating in its pattern of spread. A study found that deadly disease can spread through the air and remains contagious for hours.
As of the time of filing this report, there are 20, 055, 099 confirmed cases across the globe, data from worldometers.info, an online dashboard that tracks global confirmed coronavirus cases.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of confirmed cases, having about a quarter of the global tally, followed by Brazil with about three million cases and India with more than two million.
Russia is fourth with nearly 900, 000 cases while South Africa, the most impacted African country, is fifth globally with over 550, 000 infections.
There are 6,403,755 active cases as of the time of reporting. Of that number, about 6,338,949 (99 per cent) are in mild conditions while only 64,806 (one per cent) cases are in serious or critical conditions.
Meanwhile, about 12,916,783 people have recovered after treatment worldwide.
The global deaths from coronavirus complications reached 734, 561 after India set a record of 1, 007 fatalities in the last 24 hours, data from worldometers.info showed.
Some experts believe the death toll could be higher as many people suspected of the disease die without being tested.
Countries have continued to report inadequate testing kits for potential patients of the virus.
The United States which already has the highest number of reported infections in the world –5,200,313– also has the highest death toll of about 165, 000.
There has been an uptick in fatalities in Brazil with over 100, 000 deaths so far recorded.
Despite crossing a million milestone of infections on Friday, Africa is the least affected region so far, accounting for only about five per cent of global cases.
Over 23, 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, 047, 218 cases and 23, 253 deaths, about five times lower than the U.S. figures alone.
Significantly, a third of all infected persons – 733, 375 – 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.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producers, Nigeria and Angola alone could lose $65 billion in income, the report indicated.
In a bid to halt the havoc on their economies, several African countries have eased lockdown measures, despite rising levels of infection and a general lack of testing capacity across the region.
Confirmed coronavirus infections in Nigeria have surpassed 46,000, with about 945 deaths.
Despite concerns that the virus is spreading largely undetected because of a lack of testing, government buildings have opened, as have places of worship, and travel is now permitted between states.
The authorities are also reopening schools and pubs, but parks remain closed.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has tested only about 320,000 of its over 200 million people.