Covid infection levels worldwide surpass 40m as 1.1m people die from virus

The number of positive coronavirus cases across the planet has reached 40million, although experts believe the true number could be much higher – as many as 780million.

The huge milestone was passed early Monday, according to John Hopkins University.

Covid testing has been variable, as some people show no symptoms while some governments may not have released their true numbers of coronavirus cases.

Now, more than 1.1million people have died from the virus, but experts believe that number may also be lower than the true figure.

The US has the highest number of cases of any country on the planet, with 8,154,594 cases.

India is the second highest with 7,550,273, but it has a higher seven-day rolling average than the US.

In recent weeks, Europe has seen a surge of Covid cases, with more than 250,000 cases confirmed deaths during the pandemic so far.

The World Health Organisation said Europe had reported a weekly high of almost 700,000 cases and said the region was responsible for a third of coronavirus cases worldwide.

France, Britain, Russia and Spain account for around half of all new cases in the region. the Mail Online reports.

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WHO said new measures are being enforced across Europe, from mask wearing, bars and restaurants closing and a night-time curfew in France, alongside targeted lockdowns in the UK. These restrictions are 'absolutely essential' to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and for hospitals to being overwhelmed.

The agency has warned European cities that intensive care units may be overwhelmed, and citizens and governments should take all necessary measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Many governments are avoiding full-on lockdowns when they can, as economies continue to battle to survive the pandemic.

WHO estimates approximately one in 10 of the world's population has been infected with coronavirus, which equates to around 780 million people. This figure is more than 20 times the official number of cases reported.

The UN health agency said it hopes there may be enough data to determine if any of the Covid-19 vaccines in trials are effective by the end of the year.

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