The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide has exceeded 100 million.
The shocking milestone was taken on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, just over a year after the first case was reported in Wuhan, China.
Over the past 12 months, the pandemic has forced governments to order closures, curfews, travel bans and other public health restrictions to try to stem the spread of infections. Economies have been hit hard and disparities of all types have widened.
More than 2.1 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide and more than 55 million people have recovered from the disease.
Despite developments in COVID-19 treatments and the deployment of vaccines in dozens of countries, mutant strains of the virus recently detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have created uncertainty as to when the pandemic will start. is likely to end.
The United States has recorded the highest number of cases of any country to date, over 25.3 million, or about a quarter of the global total. With more than 424,000 recorded deaths, the United States also has the highest death toll in the world.
US President Joe Biden, who was inaugurated last week and has pledged to control soaring infection rates, told a press conference on Tuesday that his administration planned to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine .
“The end goal is to beat COVID-19, and the way we are doing it is to get more people vaccinated,” Biden told reporters.
India has confirmed the second highest total number of cases, with more than 10.6 million infections reported. More than 153,000 people have died from the virus there.
Brazil has confirmed more than 8.8 million cases and has the second highest death toll, with 217,000 dead.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the threat of the virus, has faced growing protests for his government’s handling of the pandemic – and the particularly devastating toll it has brought to the Amazon city of Manaus, where oxygen is scarce and hospitals are full.
The discovery of new variants of the virus prompted governments around the world to impose new restrictions, including travel bans, school closings and lockdowns as they sought to contain the spread.
U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna has said it believes its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the newer variants, although it will test a new booster vaccine intended for the strain discovered in South Africa after tests showed that the antibody response might be reduced.
The vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech acts against 15 possible viral mutations. However, E484K, another mutation in South Africa, is not among those tested, according to a study published Jan. 7.
U.S. infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that vaccines are designed to recognize multiple parts of the spike protein, making it unlikely that a single mutation could suffice them. prevent them from being effective.
However, he warned last week that current vaccines may not be as effective in protecting against newer, more contagious strains.
Concerns are also growing in Europe about delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, with governments saying supply issues are costing critical time during the early stages of deployment to nursing homes and hospital staff.
European Union Tuesday warned Pharmaceutical giants who have developed coronavirus vaccines with EU help, it must get its vaccines on time, a day after the bloc threatened to impose export controls on vaccines produced at the within its borders.