BEIJING, June 28 (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases have approached 10 million on Sunday according to a Reuters count, marking a milestone in the spread of respiratory disease that has so far killed nearly half a million people in seven months.
The figure is about double the number of serious flu diseases recorded each year, according to the World Health Organization.
The milestone will come as many affected countries are easing the blockages while making large changes to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.
Some countries are experiencing an upswing in infections, leading authorities to partially restore the blockages, in what experts say may be a recurring pattern in the coming months and 2021
North America, Latin America and Europe each account for about 25% of cases, while Asia and the Middle East have about 11% and 9% respectively, according to the Reuters report, which uses reports government.
So far there have been more than 497,000 disease-related deaths, roughly the same as the number of flu deaths reported each year.
The first cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on January 10 in Wuhan, China, before infections and fatal accidents increased in Europe, then in the United States and later in Russia.
The pandemic has now entered a new phase, with India and Brazil fighting outbreaks of over 10,000 cases per day, putting a strain on resources.
The two countries accounted for over a third of all new cases in the past week. Brazil reported a record 54,700 new cases on June 19. Researchers said the death toll in Latin America could rise to over 380,000 by October, from around 100,000 this week.
The total number of cases has continued to increase at a rate of 1-2% per day in the past week, down from 10% in March.
Countries such as China, New Zealand and Australia have witnessed new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely canceling local broadcasting.
In Beijing, where hundreds of new cases were linked to an agricultural market, testing capacity was increased to 300,000 per day.
The United States, which reported most cases in any country with over 2.5 million, managed to slow the spread of the virus in May, only to see it expand in recent weeks in rural areas and other places that weren’t been previously affected.
In some countries with limited testing capabilities, case numbers reflect a small percentage of total infections. About half of the reported infections have been known to recover.
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Reporting by Cate Cadell; Curated by Daniel Wallis