December 21 (Reuters) – Global coronavirus infections surpassed the 75 million mark on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, as several nations around the world begin vaccinating against the virus.
Britain this month became the first Western country to start immunizing with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech, followed by the United States which has now also approved a vaccine from Moderna.
There have been 18.65 million new cases in the past month, the highest reported for a 30-day period since the pandemic started.
Europe remains the region with the most cases – 21.6 million cases – followed by North America with 17.9 million, Latin America with 14.5 million and Asia with 13 million.
In Europe, a million new cases were recorded over just five days, with Russia and France reporting more than 2 million cases since the coronavirus outbreak began. The United Kingdom and Italy both have approximately 1.9 million cases each.
The United States became the first country in the world to record more than 300,000 deaths on Monday. The nation is reporting more than 2,500 deaths daily, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the previous seven days.
Hospitals across the United States have begun giving the first shots of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.
The United States remains the country with most cases – more than 17 million since the outbreak started – followed by India and Brazil respectively. With just 4% of the world’s population, the United States has about 23% of all global cases.
Brazil registered a single-day record of 70,000 new cases on Wednesday, joining the United States and India as the only countries to have reported more than 7 million total infections. With almost 180,000 confirmed fatalities, the South American nation has the second-highest death toll in the world.
On Saturday, India exceeded 10 million coronavirus infections. India has prepared to deliver 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable people in the next six to eight months.