World Covid-19 cases surpass 1 million, 51 000 deaths recorded

Spread This News


More than a million cases of coronavirus have been registered globally, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University – another grim milestone as the world grapples with the spreading pandemic.

More than 51,000 people have died and more than 208,000 have recovered, according to the university’s figures.

The US accounts for the most cases; Italy the highest death toll.

The disease, Covid-19, first emerged in central China three months ago.

How did we get here?

At the end of December, 34-year-old ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang tried to send a message to other medics warning them about a new virus in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei Province.

He was later visited by the police accused of scaremongering and subsequently died of coronavirus after treating patients.

On 3 January we wrote our first news report about a “mystery virus” in Wuhan. At the time, 44 cases had been confirmed, 11 of which were considered severe. There had been no deaths yet, but many feared we would see a repeat of the 2003 Sars outbreak that killed 774 people. By 18 January the confirmed number of cases had risen to around 60 – but experts estimated the real figure was closer to 1,700.

Just two days later, as millions of people prepared to travel for the lunar new year, the number of cases more than tripled to more than 200 and the virus was detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.