New York, May 21 (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases surpassed 5 million on Wednesday (May 20), with Latin America overtaking the United States and Europe in the past week to report the largest portion of new daily cases globally.
It represents a new phase in the virus’ spread, which initially peaked in China in February, before large-scale outbreaks followed in Europe and the United States.
Latin America accounted for around a third of the 91,000 cases reported earlier this week. Europe and the United States each accounted for just over 20 per cent.
A large number of those new cases came from Brazil, which recently surpassed Germany, France and the United Kingdom to become the third-largest outbreak in the world, behind the United States and Russia.
Cases in Brazil are now rising at a daily pace second only to the United States.
The first 41 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Wuhan, China, on Jan 10 and it took the world until April 1 to reach its first million cases. Since then, about 1 million new cases are reported every two weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
At more than 5 million cases, the virus has infected more people in under six months than the annual total of severe flu cases, which the World Health Organisation estimates is around 3 million to 5 million globally.