Seventeen months after the World Health Organization officially declared the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, the world surpassed a grim milestone on Wednesday. According to the Johns Hopkins University, global confirmed cases have now surpassed 200 million, with the actual number probably much higher due to asymptomatic, undetected cases and limited testing.
As the following chart shows, five countries account for more than half of the world’s known cases, with the U.S. (35.3 million), India (31.8 million) and Brazil (20.0 million) the only three countries with more than 10 million confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, as the highly contagious Delta variant surges around the world and vaccination progress is stalling in many rich countries, the WHO has urged world leaders to consider a moratorium on booster shots and use excess vaccine doses to boost inoculation campaigns in poorer regions instead.
As of August 4, 2021, more than 4.25 million people have died from COVID-19, with the United States, Brazil and India suffering the highest death toll.