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Workers wearing protective face masks and face shields wait for customers at a restaurant in Mexico City. (Photographer: Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg)

Global coronavirus cases hit 100 million

Workers wearing protective face masks and face shields wait for customers at a restaurant in Mexico City. (Photographer: Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg)

Global confirmed cases of the coronavirus crossed 100 million mark today.

Two women look at the beach in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, July 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

The virus hit the terrible milestone on the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which showed 100,032,461 cases at the time of publishing.

The dreaded landmark comes almost a year to the date the World Health Organization declared global health emergency on January 30, 2020, just a month after the first case was confirmed in Wuhan, China.

The figures are driven largely by the United States which accounts for a quarter of all recorded infections with 25.3 million cases. That’s followed by India which has 10.7 million cases, with the top five worst-hit nations rounded out by Brazil (8.9 million), Russia (3.7 million) and the United Kingdom (3.7 million).

People wearing protective masks carry shopping bags while walking through downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

Deaths attributed to the virus now stand at 2.1 million, with the US also leading fatalities at 423,010.

Despite the frightening figures, experts say the actual numbers are likely much higher, with inadequate testing, faulty reporting and asymptomatic cases masking the true impact of the pandemic.

The virus has affected 191 territories around the world, with the WHO’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus yesterday tweeting “This must strengthen our resolve to save lives.

With the approval of vaccines coming swiftly, many are holding out hope that there may an end in sight soon. But before that, regions across the world continue to battle another wave of the pandemic which has forced many to re-impose lockdowns, tighten curfews and implement other more stringent measures.