News Coronavirus More than 100 million people have been infected by COVID-19

More than 100 million people have been infected by COVID-19

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The number of million people around the world have now been infected with coronavirus has passed 100 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestone was reached on Tuesday, with the United States remaining the worst-hit country, recording more than 25 million cases and 420,000 deaths.

More than 2.1 million people have died with coronavirus since the pandemic took hold.

President Joe Biden, who has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic, has set a goal of administering at least 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.

The Biden administration is working to buy 200 million more vaccine doses and aims to have enough supply for nearly the entire US population by the end of the summer.

India and Brazil have the second and third highest case tallies after the US, standing at more than 10.6 million and 8.8 million infections respectively.

The true number of cases is likely to be far higher than what has been reported.

More than 100,000 people have died in the United Kingdom after contracting coronavirus.

The UK’s health department said 100,162 people had died after testing positive for COVID-19, including 1,631 new deaths reported on Tuesday. Britain is the fifth country in the world to pass that mark, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

Indonesia has confirmed more than 1 million coronavirus infections, with hospitals in some hard-hit areas nearing capacity.

Indonesia’s health ministry announced new daily infections rose by 13,094, bringing the country’s total to 1,012,350 — the most in South-East Asia.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief doubled down on calls for a more equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says least-developed countries have to “watch and wait” while richer countries power ahead with their immunisation programs.

“Vaccine nationalism might serve short-term political goals but it’s in every nation’s own interest to support vaccine equity,” Dr Ghebreyesus said.

With Africa struggling to secure sufficient vaccines to start countrywide inoculation programs for its 1.3 billion people, the international Gavi vaccine alliance meanwhile has said the surplus doses that richer countries had ordered ran into the hundreds of millions.

The WHO chief urged countries around the world not to “squander” the window of opportunity that vaccines gave them to curb the spread of coronavirus, and criticised what he described as a growing divide between richer and poorer countries in the procurement of vaccines.

“The stakes could not be higher. Every moment counts,” he said.

The African Union this month secured 270 million shots for the continent to supplement 600 million doses from the COVAX vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the WHO and Gavi.

Those doses are expected to become available this year but none have arrived yet, while parts of Europe, Asia and the Americas are well into their vaccination programs.

Britain has ordered 367 million doses of seven different vaccines — some already approved and some candidate drugs — for its population of roughly 67 million, while the European Union has secured nearly 2.3 billion doses for its 450 million people.

Last week the WHO chief warned that the world was on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” of equitable delivery of vaccines.

-with agencies