According to a Reuters report , global coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million on Wednesday as evidence mounts of the airborne disease spread which killed more than half a million people in seven months. According to the World Health Organization , the number of cases is triple that of serious influenza illnesses reported annually.
Some hard-hit countries are relaxing lockdowns set up to combat the spread of the novel virus while others, including China and Australia, are introducing another round of shutdowns in response to a resurgence in infections. Experts say improvements to work and social life will continue until there is a vaccine available. In early January the first case was registered in China, and it took 149 days to reach 6 million cases. It took less than one-third of the time-just 39 days-to double to 12 million cases, the tally shows.
India – the nation with the third highest number of infections – is dealing every day with an epidemic of over 20,000 new cases. Case numbers in countries with limited capacity to check represent only a proportion of overall infections. Experts note that official figures are likely to underrepresent all incidents and deaths.