Global coronavirus infections top 17 million

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 17 million early Thursday morning, another grim global milestone as the pandemic continues.

Data from Johns Hopkins University indicated the global total of confirmed cases reached beyond 17 million since the first cases were identified in Wuhan, China, last December. The worldwide death toll has reached at least 667,900.

More than a quarter of the confirmed cases in the world have been in the U.S., which has recorded more than 4.4 million cases. Brazil has confirmed the second most at more than 2.5 million, amounting to almost 15 percent of the world’s cases.

Behind the U.S. and Brazil, India has confirmed more than 1.5 million infections or slightly more than 9 percent of the global case count. Then, Russia has identified more than 832,000 cases, and South Africa has confirmed more than 471,000 infections.

The news of the global milestone comes the day after the U.S. reached 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The U.S. has recorded the most fatalities out of any country, followed by Brazil, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Italy. 

The U.S., like several countries, has ramped up testing to complete more than 750,000 every day, with many positive cases being found in people with few or no symptoms. The number of new cases identified each day in the U.S. has leveled since a peak in mid-July to reach a current seven-day average of more than 65,000 cases per day.

The milestone also comes about six months after the first case was confirmed in the U.S. and seven months after cases were identified in Wuhan, China. 

The pandemic has had an economic toll on the global economy after many countries had locked down to prevent viral spread. Several countries, including the U.S., have now made moves to reopen the economy after the lockdowns.

In the U.S., 32 states now mandate mask-wearing in public, and in the other states, dozens of city and local governments have too. 

Several states are pausing or rewinding their reopening efforts after surges in confirmed cases. Kentucky announced its bars would shut down for two weeks on Monday, and Mississippi required bars to close at 11 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Death toll economy Johns Hopkins University reopening

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