Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 500,000

The worldwide COVID-19 death toll surpassed 500,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of early Sunday evening, the university’s count of coronavirus deaths reached 500,108, with more than 25 percent of the total taking place in the U.S and more than 11 percent in Brazil. The U.S. has recorded at least 125,747 deaths, while Brazil has documented 57,070. 

Behind the U.S. and Brazil, the U.K. has counted 43,634 deaths, or 8 percent of the total, and Italy has tracked 34,738 deaths, or almost 7 percent. 

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The tragic milestone was met on the same day the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world reached beyond 10 million. The death count had previously passed 250,000 on May 4, CNN reported.

Public health experts expect the numbers of actual cases and deaths to be higher. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said Thursday that officials are likely missing 10 cases for every one identified

The death toll comes as new cases continue to be confirmed in the U.S. and Brazil. Together with Mexico, they accounted for half of all of the COVID-19 deaths in the past week, Axios reported

The U.S. surpassed more than 2.5 million confirmed cases on Saturday and reached its highest one-day increase on Friday, documenting 45,498 new cases. It had previously broken its record on Thursday with 41,156 new cases, according to The New York Times.

More than 1 in 5 of the world’s total coronavirus cases were confirmed in the last two weeks, Axios noted. 

The 500,000 death toll comes as the European Union is preparing to lift its external borders to certain countries on July 1, based on their infection rates and testing and tracing methods. It is expected to block travelers from the U.S., Brazil and Russia.

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