Coronavirus cases worldwide reached 10 million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, marking a milestone in the spread of respiratory disease that has so far killed nearly half a million people in seven month.
The figure is about double the number of serious cases of influenza recorded each year, according to the World Health Organization.
This milestone will come as many hard-hit countries relax the locks while profoundly changing professional and social life that could last a year or more until a vaccine is available.
Some countries are experiencing a resurgence of infections, leading the authorities to partially restore the blockages, which, according to experts, could be recurrent in the coming months and in 2021.
North America, Latin America and Europe each account for about 25% of cases, while Asia and the Middle East each have about 11% and 9% respectively, according to the Reuters count, which uses government reports.
There have so far been more than 497,000 illness-related deaths, about the same as the number of influenza deaths reported each year.
The first cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on January 10 in Wuhan, China, before infections and deaths multiplied in Europe, then in the United States, then in Russia.
The pandemic has now entered a new phase, with India and Brazil battling more than 10,000 cases a day, straining resources.
The two countries accounted for more than a third of all new cases in the past week. Brazil reported a record 54,500 new cases on June 19. Some researchers have said that the death toll in Latin America could reach more than 380,000 in October, up from around 100,000 this week.
The total number of cases continued to increase at a rate of between 1 and 2% per day over the past week, compared to rates above 10% in March.
Countries like China, New Zealand and Australia have experienced new outbreaks in the past month, despite the cancellation of local transmission.
In Beijing, where hundreds of new cases were linked to an agricultural market, testing capacity was increased to 300,000 per day.
The United States, which has reported the most cases in more than 2.5 million countries, managed to slow the spread of the virus in May, only to see it spread in recent weeks in rural and rural areas. other places that were not previously affected.
In some countries with limited testing capacity, the number of cases reflects a small proportion of the total number of infections. About half of the reported infections are known to have recovered.