The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the planet has passed 40million, although experts believe the true figure could be as high as 780million.
The milestone was passed early Monday according to Johns Hopkins University, which collates reporting from around the world, although the true figure is expected to be higher.
Testing has been variable and many people have had no symptoms, while some governments have concealed the true number of cases.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the planet has passed 40million, with India (pictured) having experienced the second most cases, at 7.5million
The US has the highest number of reported cases of any country in the world with 8,154,594, and the highest number of deaths
COUNTRIES REPORTING MOST NEW CASES/DEATHS EACH DAY
*All figures based on latest seven-day average reported
To date, more than 1.1 million confirmed virus deaths have been reported, although experts also believe that number is also an undercount.
The US has the highest number of reported cases of any country in the world with 8,154,594.
India follows the US, with 7,550,273 cases.
However, India is currently experiencing infections at a higher rate, with a seven-day rolling average of 61,390, higher than 56,006 in the US.
However, the increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe, which has seen over 250,000 confirmed virus deaths in the pandemic so far.
Last week, the World Health Organization said Europe had a reported a record weekly high of nearly 700,000 cases and said that the region was responsible for about a third of cases globally.
Britain, France, Russia and Spain account for about half of all new cases in the region.
WHO said new measures being taken across Europe – including new requirements on mask-wearing in Italy and Switzerland, the closure of restaurants and bars in Northern Ireland and Belgium, a night-time curfew in France and targeted limited lockdowns in parts of the UK – are ‘absolutely essential’ to stop COVID-19 from overwhelming hospitals.
The agency said several European cities could soon see their intensive care units overwhelmed and warned that governments and citizens should take all necessary measures to slow the virus’ spread, including bolstering testing and contact tracing, wearing face masks and following social distancing measures.
Many governments are seeking to avoid the full-on lockdowns imposed in the first wave as they battle to keep their economies going but in some countries, people are chafing against the new restrictions on daily life.
Italy announced fresh curbs on Sunday night amid a second wave across Europe which has recorded a weekly high of nearly 700,000 cases
The WHO has previously estimated about one in 10 of the world’s population – about 780million people – has been infected with Covid-19, more than 20 times the official number of cases.
The UN health agency said it hopes there might be enough data to determine if any of the Covid-19 vaccines now being tested are effective by the end of the year.
But it warned that first-generation vaccines are unlikely to provide complete protection and that it could take at least two years to bring the pandemic under control.
India has reported 579 fatalities from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the lowest increase in three months, driving its death toll to 114,610.
The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 55,722 new cases of coronavirus infection, raising India’s total to more than 7.5 million, second in the world behind the US.
India’s infection count, which fell to 55,722 today, have come down sharply from the world-record high of 97,894 on September 17
India’s death toll fell to its lowest for three months today as 579 more fatalities were added to the tally, bringing the total in the world’s second-most populous country to 114,610
A government-appointed committee of scientists said Sunday the epidemic may have peaked in India and the disease was likely to ‘run its course’ by February 2021 if people used masks and adhered to physical distancing measures.
The number of new infections confirmed each day has declined for a month.
The committee said even if active cases increased during the upcoming festive season and cold weather, they were unlikely to surpass India’s record daily high of 97,894 cases.
A raft of European nations including Italy and Belgium took desperate new measures on Monday to try to combat a second wave of coronavirus infections.
In Belgium, where hospitalisations rose 100 per cent in just the last week, bars and restaurants were closed on Monday for a month and a curfew will be reinforced overnight.
Europe currently has recorded over 17 per cent of total global coronavirus cases and nearly 22 per cent of deaths worldwide
The country announced 11,705 new cases on Sunday, beating its record of 10,925 it had seen the day before
Italy, the initial epicentre of Europe’s outbreak, also announced fresh curbs including earlier closures for bars and restaurants and a push to increase working from home.
In Poland, where around half the country is now designated as a coronavirus ‘red zone’, the government said the national stadium would double as a field hospital to help ease the strain on overwhelmed health care facilities.
Switzerland meanwhile made mask-wearing compulsory in indoor public spaces and put limits on public gatherings after infections doubled over the last week.
France imposed its own overnight curfew from the weekend in nine cities including Paris, affecting 20 million people, with a record 32,400 new infections reported on Saturday.
The Champs-Eylsées lies virtually empty after curfew was imposed in Paris, forcing places shut by 9pm
Riot police use water cannon against protestors at the Old Town Square as hundreds of demonstrators, including football supporters, protest against the Czech government’s new measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus
Russia’s daily tally of cases surged to a record high of 15,982 on Monday, including 5,376 in the capital Moscow, pushing the national case total to 1,415,316 since the pandemic began.
Authorities reported 179 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 24,366.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson has introduced a three-tier system to curb the spread of the virus in regions across the UK.
The United Kingdom remains Europe’s worst-affected country in terms of deaths, accounting for almost one-fifth of fatalities on the continent.
Although infections have been on the rise in the US, coronavirus deaths currently average about 700 a day – far off their peak in April with nearly 2,000 daily deaths.
The fatality rate also has dropped, from 60 deaths per 100,000 people to 37 in May down to 27 per 100,000 in June.
On Friday, there were 70,000 new coronavirus cases in the country – the highest level since July.
Nearly 220,000 Americans have now died from the virus, with some experts concerned that the next months could be the toughest yet.
Brazil has suffered the second-most deaths after the US, with 153,675 deaths from 5,224,362 cases.
Meanwhile, the country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Peru with 102 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Belgium with 90, Bolivia 73 and Brazil 72.
Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 379,605 deaths from 1,046,3815 cases, the most deaths of any continent.