The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe exceeded 40 million Monday morning, according to the latest data — although far more people are believed to have been infected.
Johns Hopkins University, which collates COVID-19 reports from around the world, has recorded 40,076,184 confirmed cases of the virus.
The actual worldwide number, however, is believed to be much higher as testing has been variable, many have been asymptomatic and some governments have concealed the actual number of cases.
Globally, more than 1.1 million confirmed virus deaths have been reported — although experts also believe that number is an undercount.
The US, India and Brazil are reporting by far the highest numbers of coronavirus cases: with 8.1 million, 7.5 million and 5.2 million respectively.
But the recent global increase is driven by a surge in Europe — which has seen more than 240,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
Europe last week also reported a record weekly high of nearly 700,000 new cases, according to the World Health Organization — which said that the region was responsible for about a third of global cases.
Britain, France, Russia and Spain account for about half of all new COVID-19 cases in the region, and countries like Belgium and the Czech Republic are battling more intense outbreaks than they faced earlier this year.
The World Health Organization has warned that intensive care units in several European cities could soon be overwhelmed if governments and citizens do not adhere to mitigation measures.
Italy and Switzerland have initiated new mask-wearing requirements, schools have been shuttered in Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic, and restaurants and bars have been closed in Belgium and France.
France has implemented a 9 p.m. curfew and limited lockdowns are in place in parts of the UK.
A previous WHO estimate calculated that about 1 in 10 of the world’s population — around 780 million people in total — have contracted COVID-19. That’s nearly 20 times the official number of cases currently reported.
With Post wires