Global coronavirus death toll passes half a million

The global coronavirus death toll exceeded half a million on Sunday as the number of worldwide cases surpassed a staggering 10million, marking the most devastating and destructive pandemic in a century. 

On Sunday June 28 the global number of reported fatalities stood at 500,306 by 6pm EST and the global number of infections was reported at 10,070,339, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University in the US pulled from data collected from governments around the world.  

Over the past seven months more than five million people have recovered from the respiratory disease. 

The two sobering milestones in the coronavirus crisis come as the US leads with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world with over 2.5million infections.   

Following behind is Brazil with over 1.3million cases and Russia with over 633,000 cases. 

Data collected from governments around the world by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US shows that the coronavirus has spread to almost every corner of the globe. By Sunday evening the global death toll surpassed 500,000

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the US has the highest number of COVID-19 infections with over 2.5million cases. Brazil, Russia, India and the UK follow behind in highest number of COVID-19 cases

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the US has the highest number of COVID-19 infections with over 2.5million cases. Brazil, Russia, India and the UK follow behind in highest number of COVID-19 cases

India has the fourth highest global number of infections with over 528,000 reported and the UK has the fifth highest with over 312,000 cases. 

The US also leads with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths with 125,747. About one in four of global COVID-19 deaths – more than 125,000 – have been reported in the US.

Brazil follows behind with over 57,000 deaths reported and the UK with nearly 44,000 deaths reported. 

While the overall rate of death has flattened in recent weeks, health experts are now worried about record numbers of new cases in the US, India and Brazil.  

More than 4,700 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19-linked illness, according to Reuters calculations based on an average from June 1 to 27.

The dizzying numbers come as several states in the US including Florida, Texas and California have doubled down on closures and lockdown orders after there was a resurgence in infections when initial quarantine orders were lifted. 

On Friday Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas shut down bars and limited restaurant dining due to a spike in cases.

‘COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,’ he said. 

Similarly in Florida, beaches will be closed again following a large spike in COVID-19 cases. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed the surge on interactions among young people. 

On Sunday California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all bars to close immediately in seven counties across the state, including Los Angeles, due to a rapid spread of coronavirus over the past few weeks. 

However, some states are seeing miraculous numbers and a slowing of the pandemic including in New York. 

USA: Nurses pictured caring for a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit in San Jose, California on May 21

USA: Nurses pictured caring for a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit in San Jose, California on May 21

Brazil: A COVID-19 patient is treated at the Oceanico hospital in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro on June 22. Brazil has the second highest global number of coronavirus cases with over 1.3million infections

Brazil: A COVID-19 patient is treated at the Oceanico hospital in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro on June 22. Brazil has the second highest global number of coronavirus cases with over 1.3million infections

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state reported just five coronavirus deaths on Saturday – the lowest seen since March 15. Just 616 of the state’s almost 62,000 tests conducted Saturday resulted in positive diagnoses, a rate of 0.99 percent, Cuomo added. 

During the state’s peak pandemic in April, nearly 800 people were dying every day. 

New York still leads the nation in COVID-19 deaths with nearly 25,000 fatalities reported. 

Sir Jeremy Farrar, a leading scientist advising politicians in Britain, said even these harrowing global coronavirus figures are ‘in reality both underestimates’.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the number of COVID-19 cases is more than double the number of severe flu cases the world would see in a normal year.

WHO announced Sunday another daily record in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world – topping over 189,000 in a single 24-hour period. The tally eclipses the previous record a week earlier at over 183,000 cases, showing case counts continue to progress worldwide. 

COVID-19 first appeared in China in January and has since spread to almost every country on Earth on people travelling internationally while infected.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of British research charity the Wellcome Trust, and a member of government advisory group SAGE, said in a tweet that the figures were ‘sobering’.

He wrote: ‘More than 10 million confirmed cases and 500,000 deaths globally directly attributed to COVID19 in ~6 months. In reality both underestimates.

‘Highly populated regions of [Central and South] America, South Asia, Africa not yet experienced full impact of 1st wave. Globally accelerating.’

The grim milestone comes as many hard-hit countries, including Britain, Italy and Spain, are easing lockdowns.

But they must embrace a new normal as they do this, with strict social distancing, working from home and restricted social lives in places for months more.

As much of the Western world appears to be recovering from the worst of the pandemic, other, poorer, nations are in the grip of fast accelerating outbreaks.

Brazil, Russia and India, which seemed to be spared disaster in the outbreak’s early days are all now at the mercy of the fast-spreading virus and have seen cases spiral out of control in recent weeks.

In Brazil and India cases have tripled in a month.

Brazil, a South American country home to 210million people, is now experiencing arguably the worst outbreak in the world after the total number of people to have had COVID-19 rocketed from 411,821 on May 28 to more than 1.31million today. 

In India, cases soared from 158,333 a month ago to 528,859 today, according to the Our World in Data project.

Health services in New Delhi are on the cusp of being completely overwhelmed because of the pandemic and patients with other conditions are being turned away, The Telegraph reports.

And in Russia the number of COVID-19 cases surged from 370,680 in May to 633,542 this week.

The US remains the worst-hit nation in the world and there have now been 2,539,544 cases and 125,747 deaths, Johns Hopkins’ data shows.


The true number of people to have been infected with the coronavirus is a mystery because many countries only test people who are seriously ill or have symptoms – many never realise they are ill or cannot get tested.

These are how official records show the coronavirus spread around the world:

  1. USA (2,539,544 confirmed cases)
  2. Brazil (1,313,667)
  3. Russia (633,542)
  4. India (528,859)
  5. UK (312,640)
  6. Peru (275,989)
  7. Chile (271,982)
  8. Spain (248,469)
  9. Italy (240,136)
  10. Iran (222,669) 
  11. Mexico (212,802)
  12. Pakistan (202,955)
  13. France (199,473)
  14. Turkey (197,239)
  15. Germany (194,693)
  16. Saudi Arabia (182,493)
  17. South Africa (138,134)
  18. Bangladesh (137,787) 
  19. Canada (105,146)
  20. Qatar (94,413) 

Data from Johns Hopkins University, accessed 6.00pm, June 28. 

The US’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, has warned ‘the window is closing’ for the US to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.

Mr Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South. He says people have ‘to act responsibly’ by social distancing and wearing face masks especially ‘in these hot zones.’

Mr Azar argued that the US is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has treatments available.

But he acknowledged that hospitalisations and deaths could increase in the next few weeks. 

Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern in the coming months and into 2021.

North America, Latin America and Europe each account for around 25 per cent of cases, while Asia and the Middle East have around 11 per cent and nine per cent respectively, according to Reuters.  

The total number of cases continued to increase at a rate of between 1-2 per cent a day in the past week, down from rates above 10 per cent in March.

Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have seen new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely quashing local transmission.

In South Africa the health minister warned that the country’s current surge of cases is expected to rapidly increase in the coming weeks and will push hospitals to the limit. Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said the current rise in infections has come from people who ‘moved back into the workplace’. 

In Beijing, where hundreds of new cases were linked to an agricultural market, testing capacity has been ramped up to 300,000 a day.

The United States, which has reported the most cases of any country at more than 2.5 million, managed to slow the spread of the virus in May, only to see it expand in recent weeks to rural areas and other places that were previously unaffected.

In some countries with limited testing capabilities, case numbers reflect a small proportion of total infections. Roughly half of reported infections are known to have recovered.


Millions of people across the world could die if there is a second wave of coronavirus infections, the World Health Organisation warned on Friday.

Dr Ranieri Guerra, an assistant director-general for strategic initiatives at the WHO, said the pandemic had so far spread as health officials had anticipated.

Comparing COVID-19 to the Spanish Flu outbreak more than 100 years ago, Mr Guerra said the older pandemic ‘fiercely resumed’ in September and October – when temperatures were cooler – after a dip.

He told Italy’s Rai TV: ‘The comparison is with the Spanish Flu, which behaved exactly like Covid: it went down in the summer and fiercely resumed in September and October, creating 50 million deaths during the second wave.’

His warning was echoed by European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, who said on Friday that ‘of course there could a severe second wave if we learn anything from the Spanish Flu of 1918-19.’ 

The Spanish Flu outbreak ravaged numerous countries around the world, including Britain, where there were more than 220,000 deaths and the US, where 675,000 died.

The virus first appeared in the spring of 1918 but appears to have mutated when it surged again in the fall, making for a deadlier second wave.

It was made worse by the fact it struck as the First World War was coming to an end.

‘It came back roaring and was much worse,’ epidemiologist Dr. William Hanage of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health said.