Global cases will soar past 30 million today, with dominating the infection rate.
India’s is firmly the global epicentre, accounting for around 17 percent of the total number of cases, although North and South America combined represent almost half of the infections.
Global new daily case numbers reached record levels in recent days and deaths neared 1 million as the international race to develop and market a vaccine heated up.
The global number of cases stands at 29,880,475 with a death toll of 940,932, according to Thursday morning’s data from John Hopkins University.
The official number of global coronavirus cases is now more than five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the WHO.
Around the world, there have been almost 1 million deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus.
That has well exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.
India on Wednesday became only the second country in the world, after the United States, to record more than 5 million cases.
The south Asian nation, the world’s second most populous country, has been reporting more new daily cases than the United States since mid-August and accounts for nearly 17 percent of global known cases.
The United States has about 20 percent of all global cases, although it has just 4 percent of the world’s population.
Brazil, the third worst-hit country, accounts for roughly 15 percent of global cases.
It took 18 days for global cases to surge from 25 million to more than 30 million.
It took 20 days for the world to go from 20 million to 25 million and 19 days to go from 15 million to 20 million.
The global rate of new daily cases is slowing, reflecting progress in constraining the disease in many countries, despite a few big surges.
Health experts stress that official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.
The race to develop and bring to market a novel coronavirus vaccine has grown increasingly frenetic in recent weeks with about 200 candidates in development globally.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said his country could have a vaccine ready for distribution before the U.S. election on November 3, while a Chinese health official this week said China may have a vaccine ready for public use as early as November.
While the trajectory of the coronavirus still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10 percent of them, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.
India reported another record jump in daily coronavirus infections with 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed on Thursday.
Deaths are also showing a rise, with the country recording more than 1,000 deaths every day for the last two weeks.
Coronavirus infections in India surged past 5 million on Wednesday, piling pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen that they need to treat tens of thousands of critical patients.
In the big states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, some of the areas worst affected by the virus, demand for oxygen has more than tripled, doctors and government officials said, prompting urgent calls for help.
Elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East Israel is recording an average of 4,493 cases per day, Iraq 4,177, the Philippines 3,970 and Indonesia 3,644.
After India, Iran is reporting the most deaths – with an seven-day average of 130 fatalities per day, followed by Indonesia with 109, the Philippines with 107 and Iraq on 73.
The WHO warned Europe this week to brace for higher mortality rates over the autumn as cases soared on the continent.
Spain, France, the Netherlands, Malta, Greece, Slovenia and Ukraine are all reporting more cases than ever.
In the last seven days, Spain has reported an average of 10,140 cases each day, France 8,684, Russia 5,559, the United Kingdom 3,286, and Ukraine 2,953.
The countries reporting the highest average deaths over the same period were Russia 114, Spain 59, Ukraine 54, Romania 38 and France 36.
‘It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,’ WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said on Monday.
‘It’s a moment where countries don’t want to hear this bad news, and I understand,’ Kluge said, adding that he wanted to send the ‘positive message’ that the pandemic ‘is going to finish, at one moment or another.’
Coronavirus has risen colossally in Latin America, however there is growing evidence that its level of infections may have plateaued.
Brazil has the third highest number of cases in the world with 4.4 million and has suffered more than 134,000 deaths, second only to the US.
Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru have all had major outbreaks and are in the global top ten for confirmed cases.
The virus caught on later in South America and started to peak as Europe’s coronavirus cases fell.
Brazil’s daily figures have been erratic, however they have clearly dropped off from a peak of nearly 70,000 on July 29.
Likewise, Mexico, Peru and Colombia, have all seen new cases decline in recent weeks.
Argentina has experienced a rise in August after it appeared to bring the virus under control.
On September 5, it recorded more than 12,000 infections – the highest ever – and another 12,000 cases last week.
The US has seen a slight uptick in the average number of daily Covid cases and deaths in the past week.
The average number of infections per day was at more than 37,000 on Tuesday after increasing steadily since the weekend.
Cases, on average, have been trending downwards nationally since July when about 70,000 infections were being reported daily.
Daily deaths are now averaging at just over 840 per day after the average number of fatalities dropped to 720 a week ago.
Deaths in the US have been declining steadily since mid-August when an average of 1,000 American were dying each day.
More than 195,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and there has been over 6.6 million infections.
The uptick in cases comes after health officials had warned there could be increases following the Labor Day holiday weekend.