Less than a year after China reported the first detected coronavirus cases, more than 50 million people across the globe have tested positive, according to a tally by Reuters, while trackers like those from Johns Hopkins University look likely to mark the watershed later in the day for a disease that has killed well over 1 million and tanked the global economy.
- According to Reuters, roughly one in four of those cases came in just the past month, as the virus’ spread increased in the United States and across Europe.
- The U.S., by far the hardest hit country in the world, accounts for one in five cases reported worldwide despite having less than 5% of the world’s population.
- Last week, the U.S. reported six-figure sums of new coronavirus cases on multiple days, and on Friday, Texas became the first state to have counted 1 million infections.
- Europe, once the epicenter of the pandemic, has also been struggling to contain a second wave of infections as countries have rolled out new restrictions and lockdowns.
- France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and Norway all broke their previous records for the most new coronavirus cases recorded during a 24-hour period last week.
Since the first known coronavirus cases were reported by China in December, the disease has spread rapidly and been detected in nearly every country. Amid the new autumn outbreaks, some nations have managed to contain the disease: late last month, Taiwan celebrated its 200th day without a new local infection, while China has reportedly largely controlled its domestic transmission of the virus. New Zealand, too, has managed to curb transmission of the disease to a handful of new cases a day.