The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide reached 10 million on Sunday while the global death toll climbed to nearly 500,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The number of global cases marks a major milestone in the spread of the virus, believed to have originated in China late last year. However, with testing still limited in some corners of the world, the actual number of global cases could be significantly higher.
The United States continues to lead the world in the number of confirmed cases with more than 2.5 million and a death toll of 125,929, according to a NBC News’ tally.
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Vice President Mike Pence postponed campaign appearances that were planned in Arizona and Florida this coming week “out of an abundance of caution” due to the virus spikes in those states.
Florida health officials on Saturday reported a new daily record of more than 9,500 new cases. South Carolina, Nevada and Georgia also reported record daily tallies of cases. Meanwhile, Washington State paused its return to normal due to a rising number of cases and concerns about continued spread of the virus.
Brazil and Russia trail behind the U.S., with nearly two million cases between them.
Meanwhile in India, which has the world’s fourth-biggest outbreak, confirmed cases have passed 500,000, federal health ministry data showed on Saturday, with infections surging in major cities including the capital New Delhi.
Iran, one of the worst-hit countries early on in the pandemic, launched a campaign Saturday to motivate a reluctant public to use face masks as the country faces a sharp increase in infections and deaths from the coronavirus. Since restrictions to stem virus spread were gradually lifted from mid-April across the country, cases have increased again. Some 2,456 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 220,180, the country’s health officials said according to Reuters.
The virus continues to spread even as a number of countries in Europe are relaxing lockdown measures to give their economies a boost after months of restrictions. Some, like Germany, are seeing a resurgence of the virus, forcing local governments to re-impose partial lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Swiss authorities said on Saturday they had ordered 300 people into quarantine after a so-called “superspreader” outbreak at a Zurich nightclub.
China’s capital, Beijing, saw a new outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a food market earlier this month, prompting a wave of testing, travel restrictions and contact tracing. But officials there claim the outbreak has been largely brought under control, despite 14 new cases being reported in the city on Sunday. Tens of millions of Chinese traveled during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that ended Saturday, with anti-crowding measures in force nationwide.