Global coronavirus cases topped one 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 more than 51,000 globally with the largest number of deaths in Italy, followed by Spain and the U.S.
The first 100,000 cases were reported in about 55 days and the first 500,000 in 76 days. Cases doubled to one million within the past eight days.
Total cases reported by Thursday grew 10 per cent 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 more than 100 cases, 50 with outbreaks of more than 1,000 and seven that have reported 50,000 or more COVID-19 cases, mainly in Europe.
The global fatality rate is now more than 5 per cent of all reported cases, with countries including Britain, the U.S. and Spain reporting a spike in fatalities over recent days.
About 22 per cent of total cases have been reported by the U.S., while Italy and Spain have each reported 11 per cent of global cases. China, where the virus emerged in December, has reported 8 per cent of total cases globally as the epicentre of the pandemic moved to Europe and the U.S.
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.
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