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Coronavirus cases surpass 5 million worldwide after single-day spike

A woman wears a protective face mask while carrying a child that is protected by a face shield in the Chinatown section of Manhattan during the COVID-19 Pandemic in New York City on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A woman wears a protective face mask while carrying a child that is protected by a face shield in the Chinatown section of Manhattan during the COVID-19 Pandemic in New York City on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 21 (UPI) -- Global COVID-19 cases passed 5 million Thursday after the World Health Organization announced the largest single-day increase in infections.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said Wednesday health officials reported 106,000 cases of COVID-16 over the previous 24 hours, two-thirds of which came from the United States, Russia, Brazil and India.

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A live tracker of the virus by Johns Hopkins University tallied 5,000,561 infections of the deadly and contagious coronavirus early Thursday -- roughly six months after the coronavirus emerged early December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan before spreading the world over.

More than 328,000 have died from the virus, the university counted.

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The United States is by far the worst-affected country with more than tripled the number of infections and deaths than any other nation with 1.5 million patients and 93,000 deaths to the virus.

Russia recently jumped into second after consistently recording quintuple-digit daily case increases through May and had more than 317,550 cases as of Thursday morning, according to Russian government data.

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Earlier this week, Brazil climbed to third in cases and on Thursday had nearly 300,000 infections to fourth-place Britain's nearly 250,000. In fifth, Spain had more than 232,500 cases followed by Italy with more than 227,000 infections, rounding out the countries with more than 200,000 cases.

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China, the former epicenter, has fallen to 13th with nearly 83,000 infections. On Thursday, Chinese health officials reported two new cases and zero deaths. Only two deaths have been recorded in the country since mid-April, according to data from China's National Health Commission.

Twelve countries have reported more than 100,000 infections.

"We still have a long way to go in this pandemic," Ghebreyesus said.

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