Beijing, April 16 (Reuters) – The number of cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide has passed two million, according to a Reuters tally.
The total reached 2,001,548 cases on Tuesday (April 14) after Britain reported its latest figures. The virus took 83 days to reach the first million cases worldwide and just 14 days for the second million.
The most serious pandemic in a century has killed 131,101 people around the world, according to the tally.
The epicentre has moved from China, where the coronavirus first emerged in December, to the United States, which now has the highest death toll.
Countries vary in how much they test for the respiratory disease, which can cause only mild symptoms, and the actual number of people infected is likely to be much higher than the number of recorded cases.
World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that countries in Europe that are considering lifting restrictions as the number of new cases stabilises or drops must be guided by the need to protect human health.
“While Covid accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up. Control measures must be lifted slowly,” he said.
“Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including a significant capacity for contact tracing,” he added.