Global coronavirus cases top one million: Johns Hopkins tally

Medical staff in full protective gear carry a patient on a stretcher down a street in Naples, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Italy, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

(Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases topped 1 million on Thursday as the pandemic explodes in the United States and the death toll continues to climb in Italy and Spain, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The virus has killed over 51,000 globally with the largest number of deaths in Italy, followed by Spain and the United States.

The first 100,000 cases were reported in around 55 days and the first 500,000 in 76 days. Cases doubled to 1 million within the past eight days.

Total cases reported by Thursday grew 10% from a day earlier, the first time the rate has hit double digits since the virus took hold outside China.

There are 117 countries and territories that have reported over 100 cases, 50 with outbreaks of over 1,000 and seven that have reported 50,000 or more COVID-19 cases, mainly in Europe.

The global fatality rate is now over 5% of all reported cases, with countries including the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain reporting a spike in fatalities over recent days.

Around 22% of total cases have been reported by the United States, while Italy and Spain have each reported 11% of global cases. China, where the virus emerged in December, has reported 8% of total cases globally as the epicenter of the pandemic moved to Europe and the United States.

Europe together accounts for over half of cases and more than 70% of deaths linked to the virus, as countries in Southern Europe with higher older age demographics have been hit particularly hard.

Reporting by Catherine Cadell in Beijing; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; editing by Bill Berkrot

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