By James Gant (MailOnline)
United Kingdom — Global coronavirus cases have soared past one million as the pandemic explodes in the US and the death tolls continue to climb in Italy and Spain, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The deadly virus has killed more than 52,000 across the world, with the largest number of deaths in Italy, followed by Spain and the US.
The first 100,000 cases were reported in around 55 days, the first 500,000 in 76 days, and they 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 over 100 cases, 50 with outbreaks of over 1,000 and seven that have reported 50,000 or more COVID-19 cases, mainly in Europe.
The global fatality rate is now over 5 per cent of all reported cases, with countries including the UK, the US and Spain reporting a spike in fatalities over recent days.
Around 22 per cent of total cases have been reported by the US, while Italy and Spain have each reported 11 per cent of global cases.
Europe together accounts for over half of cases and more than 70 per cent of deaths linked to the virus. Countries in Southern Europe with higher older age demographics have been hit particularly hard.
It comes as more than 3.9 billion people, or half of the world’s population, are now being called on to remain in their homes to combat COVID-19.
The measures – which include compulsory or recommended confinement, curfews and quarantines – are in place in more than 90 countries and territories.
The introduction of a curfew in Thailand, which takes effect on Friday, pushed the number past half of the global population of 7.8 billion.
Some 2.78 billion residents of 49 countries and territories are currently subject to obligatory confinement at home.
In Europe, the likes of Britain, France, Italy and Spain are under restrictions. In Asia, similar rules apply to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka among others.
Large parts of the US are under some kind of lockdown and even relatively isolated New Zealand has not been spared.
Although COVID-19 arrived in Africa later than other regions, countries as distant as Morocco and South Africa have begun to take action.
Eritrea joined the list on Thursday, ordering its citizens to remain in their homes for 21 days. (ia/sovereignph.com)