COVID-19: More than 500,000 deaths worldwide

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More than 500,000 people have died of COVID-19 and the number of infections worldwide has surpassed 10 million, according to John Hopkins University.

A recent surge in cases has raised fears of a second wave of the virus.

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

That equates to 196 people per hour, or one person every 18 seconds.

About one-quarter of all the deaths so far have been in the United States. The recent surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of Southern and Western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively.

U.S. officials on Sunday reported around 44,700 new cases and 508 additional deaths.

Case numbers are also growing swiftly in Latin America, on Sunday surpassing those diagnosed in Europe, making the region the second most affected by the pandemic, after North America.

On the other side of the world, Australian officials were considering re-imposing social distancing measures in some regions on Monday after reporting the biggest one-day rise in infections in more than two months.

The first recorded death from the new virus was on Jan. 9, a 61-year-old man from the Chinese city of Wuhan who was a regular shopper at a wet market that has been identified as the source of the outbreak.

In just five months, the COVID-19 death toll has overtaken the number of people who die annually from malaria, one of the most deadly infectious diseases.

The death rate averages out to 78,000 per month, compared with 64,000 AIDS-related deaths and 36,000 malaria deaths, according to 2018 figures from the World Health Organization.

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