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article imageCoronavirus cases surpassed 100 million worldwide on Tuesday

By Karen Graham     Jan 26, 2021 in Health
On Tuesday, the world reached a grim milestone when the number of coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 100 million people, according to the data tracker from Johns Hopkins University.
According to Forbes, it took nine months - from the start of the pandemic until November 2020 - for the world to reach a total of 50 million infections - but just 75 days later and here we are with over 100 million cases.
And yet, the United States, with only about 5.0 percent of the world's population, continues to account for more than 25 percent of the earth's known Covid-19 cases, with over 25,407,414 Americans infected. India is second, with about 10.7 million cases, while all other countries are reporting fewer than 9 million confirmed infections.
CNN is reporting that the global death toll passed the 2 million mark on January 15, according to Johns Hopkins University. The figure now stands at 2,153,477 deaths as of Tuesday.
And while over two million deaths may be a horrendous number, health experts are saying the numbers may actually be much higher because only confirmed Covid-19 deaths are included in the tally, which means that people who die without a firm diagnosis may not be included.
This also means that with a total global population of around 7.67 billion, according to the latest World Bank figures, the global case tally suggests that about one in every 76 people has now had the virus.
Airports are empty as borders are being clamped shut with countries racing to get a grip on mushroom...
Airports are empty as borders are being clamped shut with countries racing to get a grip on mushrooming coronavirus infections
JACK GUEZ, AFP
Struggling to get the virus under control
Since first being identified in Wuhan, China more than a year ago, countries around the world have tried everything, from imposing travel bans to school closures to full national lockdowns in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. Many nations are still struggling, even today.
Scientists reacted very quickly in developing a vaccine, and millions of people have already had their first shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Complicating the rollout of the vaccines is the speed with which they were developed, making many people around the world hesitant to get vaccinated, reports The Hill.
Controlling the virus is now complicated by the many mutations that are showing up around the globe. These more infectious variants are causing great concern to scientists.
The mutated strains include the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), discovered late last year, and the South Africa variant (501Y.V2), also referred to as B1.351, discovered in late October 2020.
Then, there is the Brazilian P.1 variant, a branch of the B.1.1.28 lineage that was first reported on January 6, 2021, by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan in four travelers from Brazil.
So far, the makers of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines say that tests have shown that their vaccines are still effective against the coronavirus.
The bleak fact is that no one knows how many tens of millions more people worldwide will be infected with the coronavirus -- or how many millions more will die -- before this pandemic is brought under control. However, hopes remain high that science and modern medicine will prevail.
More about Coronavirus cases, Worldwide, Johns Hopkins University, global death toll
 
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