(NY DAILY NEWS) – The deadly infection that was unknown to the world just four months ago has now sickened more than 1.5 million people, nearly a third of whom are in the U.S.
The relentless coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the global economy and continues to upend daily life in every region in the world, has also killed at least 90,000 people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Thursday’s grim milestone represents the official number of people who have been diagnosed with the disease, but the actual figures are likely much higher because of a lack of testing in most countries, including the U.S., where authorities have confirmed more than 430,000 cases so far.
The official global tally has seen a 15-fold increase in only a month, showing how fast the virus has been spreading in recent weeks.
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Thursday also marks 100 days since the agency was notified of the first COVID-19 cases in China.
“This pandemic is much more than a health crisis,” he tweeted. “It requires a whole-of government & society response.”
The deadly pneumonia-like virus appears to have originated in Wuhan, a busy metropolis in China’s Hubei province that re-opened this week after a nearly three-month lockdown. On Wednesday, zero deaths were reported in Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak began.
Johns Hopkins’ data also shows that more than 340,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus around the world have already recovered.