Global coronavirus cases exceed 11 million

India has become the new epicentre of the coronavirus in Asia, with 625,000 cases reported.
India has become the new epicentre of the coronavirus in Asia, with 625,000 cases reported.

Global coronavirus cases have exceeded 11 million, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 500,000 people in seven months.

The number of cases is more than double the figure for severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organisation.

Many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.

Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern into 2021.

The United States reported more than 55,400 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new daily global record as infections rose in a majority of the country's states.

Several US governors halted plans to reopen their state economies in the face of a surge in cases.

Almost a quarter of the known global deaths have occurred in the United States - nearly 129,000.

Latin America, where Brazil has 1.5 million cases, makes up 23 per cent of the global total of people infected.

India has become the new epicentre in Asia, rising to 625,000 cases.

Asia and the Middle East have about 12 per cent and 9 per cent respectively, according to the Reuters tally, which uses government reports.

In some countries with limited testing capabilities, case numbers reflect a small proportion of total infections.

Roughly half of people reported to have been infected are known to have recovered.

Worldwide, there have been more than 520,000 fatalities linked to the disease so far, roughly the same as the number of influenza deaths reported annually.

The first death linked to the new coronavirus was reported on January 10 in Wuhan in China before infections and fatalities surged in Europe, then the United States and later Russia.

The pandemic has now entered a new phase, with India and Brazil battling outbreaks of more than 10,000 cases a day, putting a major strain on resources.

Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have experienced new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely quashing local transmission.

Australian Associated Press