The coronavirus pandemic has passed its landmark moment, as over one million people worldwide have tested positive for the disease, according to figures from the AFP news agency.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases hit the 1 million mark on Thursday, the AFP tally shows. Over 51,000 people have died worldwide from the virus.
The novel coronavirus outbreak was first recorded in the city of Wuhan in China’s central Hubei Province. Early on, the disease was linked to a wet market in Wuhan. However, its exact origin has still not been determined. The number of infected people in Wuhan had skyrocketed, after which the virus quickly spread abroad, hitting nearly every country.
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. Two weeks later, the US became the most-affected nation, surpassing China. In Europe, Italy, Spain, Germany and France were hit the hardest, with each having more than 40,000 cases.
Within three weeks, close to half the world’s population – most of North America, Europe and India – has been ordered to stay at home, in hopes of slowing or stopping the spread of the contagion.
In many places, the rapidly-spreading virus has overwhelmed local healthcare systems. Doctors have struggled with shortages of hospital space and medical equipment, including testing kits and protective gear.