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Number of COVID-19 pandemic cases surpass 10 million globally

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 10 million on Sunday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. The terrible milestone comes six months after initial cases were first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December, before continuing to spread across the globe. By Monday, COVID-19 had infected 10,145,947 and killed at least 501,898 people globally.

Graphic by SergeyBitos / Shutterstock.com

Countries like Germany, which effectively handled the first wave, are seeing an uptick in new infections, a problem that experts say will recur until a vaccine is found. Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have seen new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely quashing local transmission.

Some countries in Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europea (CESEE) have also reported an increase in new cases after they began to ease restrictions in the last two-three weeks.

The Czech Republic recorded 168 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, authorities said, the highest daily rise in cases since early April, just as the country starts the two-month summer holiday season. The government said it will focus on local quarantines and tracing and testing measures rather than national lockdowns in the future.

A month after it declared itself coronavirus-free, Montenegro reintroduced restrictions late on Thursday, including a ban on sports events and outdoor political rallies, to try to contain an increase in new cases.

Neighboring Serbia said on Friday it would again dedicate some general hospitals to treating only COVID-19 patients following a spike in infections there in recent days.

The moves follow Croatia’s announcement on Wednesday that it would reintroduce a 14-day quarantine for visitors from four other Balkan countries including Serbia due to the regional resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

As of Sunday evening, the number of infected persons in the CESEE region had reached 139,864 up by 12,599 from a week ago. Of those, 6,147 people have died and 90,745 recovered.

Poland had the most cases with 33,907 infected persons (up from 31,931 a week ago) and 1,438 fatalities (up from 1,356), followed by Romania at 26,313/1,612 (from 24,045/1,512).

The number of cases in Moldova increased to 16,250 with 530 death (from 14,200/473), followed by Serbia 14,046/270 (from 12,894/261); Czech Republic, 11,306/347 (from 10,463/337); North Macedonia, 6,080/286 (from 5,106/238); Bulgaria, 4,625/216 (from 3,872/199);  Hungary, 4,142/581 (from 4,074/570); Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3,935/178 (from 3,273/169); Greece, 3,366/191 (from 3,266/190); Croatia, 2,691/107 (from 2,317/107); Albania, 2,402/55 (from 1,962/44); Kosovo, 2,169/37 (from 1,486/33); Estonia, 1,987/69 (from 1,981/69); Lithuania, 1,815/78 (from 1,798/76); Slovakia, 1,664/28 (from 1,587/28); Slovenia, 1,581/111 (from 1,520/109); Latvia, 1,116/31 (from 1,111/30); and Montenegro, 469/9 (from 359/9).

(Sources: CNN, Reuters, Worldometers.info, Johns Hopkins University.)