Global COVID-19 cases tops 300 million

According to the tally of Johns Hopkins University, the number of global COVID-19 cases has surpassed 300 million on Thursday.

Iran PressAmerica: It took more than a year for the world to record the first 100 million coronavirus cases and half that time to tally the next 100 million.

The third 100 million have come even faster, in barely five months, as large segments of countries, rich and poor alike, remain unvaccinated, and a wily new variant has proved able to infect even those who are.

Case counts, though imperfect, have been a critical barometer throughout the pandemic, a benchmark not only for governments implementing mitigation measures but also for people trying to discern the threat in their own communities. Yet surpassing 300 million known cases — which was recorded on Thursday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University — comes as a growing number of experts argue that it is time to stop focusing on case numbers.

In the United States, daily cases have risen fivefold over the past month, while hospitalizations have merely doubled. In France, average daily cases have quadrupled to a record, while hospitalizations have risen by about 70 percent, and deaths have doubled, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.

Case numbers “definitely mean less than they did” earlier in the pandemic, said Robert West, a professor of health psychology at University College London. “If we had this number of infections then, we’d have had an astronomical number of deaths.”

Still, the known death toll remains devastating: "More than 830,000 in the United States, 620,000 in Brazil, nearly half a million in India."


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