As the human and economic toll of the lockdowns against the coronavirus mount on billions of the world population now left to struggle for their survival, fears that the contagion could reach the threshold of a million in a short spell has become rife.
As of Saturday morning, there were more than 600,000 cases across the globe, a number that has doubled in less than a week, data from worldometers .info has shown.
Just last Saturday, there were 300,000 confirmed cases. The world hit 400,000 on Tuesday afternoon and crossed the half-million mark around the same time Thursday.
As at time of reporting, the U.S. now has more than 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, most of any country, surpassing China, where the virus was suspected to have broken out last December and Italy, Europe’s hardest hit with over 10, 000 death toll.
Newsmen monitored the worldometer platform and noticed a spike in the number of cases. In less than 15 minutes Saturday morning, newly confirmed cases climbed past 10, 000 to reach peak at 613, 889 cases.
The death total toll stood 28, 234 after as much as 900 and nearly 800 deaths were recorded in Italy and Spain in just 24 hours, showing an explosion of the virus around the globe.
Even at the best-case-scenario, a modelling from The Australian National University (ANU) last month estimated a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million from the pandemic.
About 45 of Africa’s 54 countries now have confirmed case, raising concerns that the contagion would soon overwhelm the continent’s under-resourced health services.
Nigeria has 81 cases as of Saturday morning, up from 10 days ago when only five people were said to have tested positive. Only one has died of the virus in Nigeria, where reported cases are lower in comparison with South Africa with more than a thousand infections and two deaths, the continent’s hardest-hit.
The World Health Organization officials said the statistics are likely to significantly underestimate the true number of cases in the continent.