- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the world has surpassed 40 million.
- The U.S., India, and Brazil are reporting by far the highest numbers of cases.
- The increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe, which has seen more than 240,000 confirmed virus deaths in the pandemic so far
Coronavirus cases exceed 40 million infections worldwide. To date, over 1.1 million confirmed virus deaths have been reported. Testing has been variable; many people have had no symptoms and some governments have concealed the true number of cases. The U.S., India, and Brazil are reporting by far the highest numbers of cases, 8.1 million, 7.5 million, and 5.2 million respectively. The increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe, which has seen more than 240,000 confirmed virus deaths in the pandemic so far. Last week, the World Health Organization said Europe had reported a weekly record of nearly 700,000 cases. The agency said several European cities could soon see their intensive care units overwhelmed.
WHO has previously estimated about 1 in 10 of the world's population, about 780 million people, have been infected with COVID-19. But WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned against the belief that herd immunity might be a viable strategy to pursue. Ghebreyesus says this kind of protection needs to be achieved by vaccination, not by deliberately exposing people to a potentially fatal disease. But experts say that it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true impact of the pandemic. The actual worldwide tally of COVID-19 cases is likely to be far higher.