© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York
By Jane Wardell
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases exceeded 3.5 million on Monday, with deaths nearing a quarter of a million, though the number of deaths and new cases has slowed like last month's highs Reuters balance shows.
North America and European countries accounted for most of the new cases reported in the past few days, but numbers rose from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa, and Russia.
There have been 84,004 new cases worldwide in the last 24 hours. This emerges from the Reuters balance sheet, which is based on official government data and increases the total number of cases to just over 3.5 million.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these are approximately 3 to 5 million cases of serious illnesses caused by seasonal influenza each year.
Although experts say actual coronavirus cases are likely to be higher than current reports, the trajectory remains far behind the Spanish flu that started in 1918 and infected an estimated 500 million people.
The deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, were 245,992. The first death was reported in Wuhan, China, on January 10 after the virus appeared there in December.
The daily rate of new cases worldwide has ranged from 2 to 3% over the past week, from a peak of around 13% in mid-March, which has prompted many countries to relax lockdowns that strain businesses and businesses have paralyzed the global economy.
The easing of restrictions has been controversial as experts discuss the best strategy to ensure that there is no major "second wave" outbreak.
Health officials also expressed concern about the increasing number of cases in countries where testing is lacking and medical facilities are lacking.
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