Sunday saw a grim milestone reached as global cases of COVID-19 hit 10 million according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
This comes as the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns the end is not in sight and numbers in Melbourne continue to spike.
That statistic coincides with the tragic number of deaths now recorded which stands at 500,000 people worldwide during the seven months we have officially recognised COVID-19. However, some experts believe that this may be an underestimate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that figures in the US may be 10 times higher than those of official records, as reported by The New York Times. The US currently has the highest COVID-19 numbers at over 2.5 million cases and 125,000 deaths respectively.
The Times also finds that across several other nations there may have been 120,000 deaths due to COVID-19 not included in official stats due to inaccurate reporting and the fact that most countries report only those Covid-19 deaths that occur in hospitals.
The number of deaths reported by Johns Hopkins on Sunday is roughly the same as the number of influenza deaths reported annually.
The 10 million cases of COVID-19 is roughly double the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.
As cases globally conitnue to rise Ghebreyesus warned that the virus has more "room to move".
"Most people remain susceptible, the virus still has a lot of room to move," he said.
"We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up."
As it stands, Australia has recorded 7,686 cases, with 589 still active.
Melbourne is the main focus of concern for lawmakers as 13 schools and 3 child centres have returned postitive tests in the last week. Yesterday, there were 75 new cases confirmed in Victoria which is the fourth-highest daily total since the start of the outbreak. An emergency department nurse and one paramedic have also been confirmed as positive for the virus.
The federal government has announced it will send 800 workers to help Melbourne stem the outbreak, including 100 managers to support community engagement, 500 staff to form public engagement and door-knocking teams, and 200 clinical staff to undertake testing, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The national death toll is 104: NSW 51, Victoria 20, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states.)
Of the numbers, 71 cases have occurred in residential aged care with 30 deaths. Thirty-one in-home care recipients have tested positive and three have died.Do you have an idea for a story?
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