(This story corrects June 6 version of story that said cases surpassed 7 million in heading and paragraph 1.)
FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face shields walk inside a park after few restrictions were lifted, during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
By Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) – Global cases of the novel coronavirus neared 7 million on Saturday, as case numbers surge in Brazil and India, according to a Reuters tally.
About 30% of those cases, or 2 million infections, are in the United States, though the fastest growing outbreak is in Latin America, which now accounts for roughly 16% of all cases.
Globally, deaths from the novel coronavirus are approaching 400,000.
The United States accounts for about one-quarter of all fatalities but deaths in South America are rapidly rising.
The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in just five months is now equal to the number of people who die annually from malaria, one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.
The first COVID-19 death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China but it was early April before the death toll passed 100,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments. It took 23 days to go from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths.
The United States has the highest death toll in the world at almost 110,000. Fatalities in Brazil are rising rapidly and the country may overtake the United Kingdom to have the second-largest number of deaths in the world.
The total number of deaths is believed to be higher than the officially reported 400,000 as many countries lack supplies to test all victims and some countries do not count deaths outside of a hospital. (Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)
Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Daniel Wallis