The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases around the world has soared past the 700,000 milestone, according to tallies carried out by Johns Hopkins University and the AFP news agency.

The total number of cases worldwide now stands at over 724,000, as several regional outbreaks have led to major spikes in the numbers, most notably in the United States.

Authorities in the US are now reporting upwards of 143,000 cases, followed by Italy with 97,600 and China, the original epicentre of the pandemic, with 82,000 cases.

As of early Monday, the total number of deaths from the disease now stands at 34,026. More than 152,000 people across the globe have recovered from the illness, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Europe remains the hardest-hit continent with Italy holding the grim title of most fatalities. With 10,779 people succumbing to the virus, the Mediterranean country’s death toll is more than three times China’s. Meanwhile, Spain continues to post alarming daily increases in fatalities from the coronavirus, with the death toll now at 6,803.

By comparison, Germany has managed to limit the death rate to just 455 people despite racking up 57,298 confirmed cases.

Across the Atlantic, US President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 tsar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has warned that the country is facing potentially “millions of cases” and up to “200,000 deaths,” which would eclipse the current figures from across the world.

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