The world reached a grim milestone on Sunday as the number of coronavirus deaths topped 500,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Sunday evening, over 10 million coronavirus cases and more than 501,000 deaths have been confirmed around the globe, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard. Several countries, including Germany, Brazil, and India, have recently seen spikes in their number of new infections.
The US has so far recorded the most coronavirus deaths of any country, with over 125,000 fatalities.
According to CNN, 36 US states are seeing a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases. On Friday, the US reported the highest single-day increase of infections since the beginning of the pandemic, with at least 40,173 new cases.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday that the “window is closing” for the US to control its coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Azar urged Americans to “act responsibly” by practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings as states begin to reopen.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Robert Redfield, acknowledged that the number of Americans who had been infected with the novel coronavirus was probably 10 times higher than the official count.
“Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Redfield’s admission echoes what researchers have been saying for months about the likelihood of a higher coronavirus count, particularly in countries with severe outbreaks.