MORE than 9.1million people worldwide have now tested positive for coronavirus — which is known to have killed at least 472,834 victims.
The worst affected nation has been the US, with 2.36million confirmed infections and more than 120,000 deaths, followed by Brazil which has recorded 1.1million cases and 51,000 deaths. India and Iraq have also seen rises.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a ‘new and dangerous phase’ with the virus ‘still accelerating’, despite falls in Britain and Europe.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said it took three months for the first 1million diagnoses, but the latest 1million cases appeared in eight days.
After recording 3,000 new infections on Monday, Florida’s surgeon-general Scott Rivkees urged people to ‘wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible’.
Officials said diagnoses were also spiralling in Texas at ‘an unacceptable rate’. In a TV interview, US president Donald Trump admitted the country’s death toll could reach 150,000, adding: ‘It could go beyond that.’
He claimed that, without his government’s actions: ‘We could have lost 2million to 4million.’
On March 9 he made comparisons with flu that kills up to 70,000 Americans each year, tweeting: ‘Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!’ The next day he told Americans: ‘It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen.’
On March 29 he added: ‘The peak, the highest point of the death rate is likely to hit in two weeks.’