Reported COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 1 million on Thursday, doubling in a week as the virus spreads across Europe and North America and establishes a toehold in Africa.
Just before global cases reached 1 million, the COVID-19 worldwide death toll passed 50,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
COVID-19 has now infected at least 1,002,159 people around the world and killed at least 51,484 people, according to Hopkins data. Nearly 200,000 people have recovered from the virus so far, according to Hopkins.
The world knew almost nothing about the virus in December, when reports of a new coronavirus started to surface in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has spread to nearly every country in the world, disrupting daily life for millions under lockdown measures meant to curb the virus’ rapid spread.
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing at the organization’s Geneva headquarters Wednesday.