The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus crisis could “get worse and worse” as infections continue to increase.
According to analysis by Reuters, infections climbed by a million in the last five days, the quickest rise for a million new cases since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, which has now entered its seventh month.
At the start of the outbreak it took three months to reach one million cases.
According to data from John Hopkins University, there have been 12,977,429 cases of coronavirus globally with 570,259 deaths.
These numbers will sharply increase if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, according to WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
"Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one," Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from the UN agency's headquarters in Geneva.
"If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”
Coronavirus infections passed 13 million on Monday, according to the Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed 573,248 people in seven months.
The first case was reported in China in early January and it took three months to reach one million cases. It has taken just five days to climb to 13 million cases from the 12 million recorded on 8 July.
The number of cases is around triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the WHO.
There have been more than 568,500 deaths linked to COVID-19 so far, within the same range as the number of yearly influenza deaths reported worldwide.
The first death was reported on 10 January in Wuhan, China, before infections and fatalities surged in Europe and then later in the US.
The WHO also confirmed a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.
The US reported another record increase, with more than 66,500 new cases in 24 hours.
India also had a surge of 28,637 cases in the same period.
The UK, which just a couple a months ago was the epicentre of the coronavirus in Europe, on Monday reported that the UK coronavirus hospital death toll had risen by 12, in the lowest daily increase since mid-March.
Scotland has seen no COVID-19 deaths for the fifth day in a row; Wales also recorded no deaths for a fourth day in succession.
On Monday, it was announced that wearing masks in shops would be mandatory in England from 24 July.
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