100M COVID-19 cases confirmed worldwide

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Jan. 26 (UPI) — The world surpassed the grim milestone of 100 million cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as countries ramp up efforts to speed up the vaccination process.

As of about 5 p.m. EST, there have been 100.09 million confirmed cases of the virus across the globe, with 2.15 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.

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On Monday, there were 509,000 new cases of the virus and 10,600 new deaths, which marked a general decline from the days previous. Cases and deaths have roughly declined since peaks earlier in the month.

These figures come slightly more than a year after China first began reporting what it initially described as mysterious cases pneumonia.

The United States has the most cases (25.41 million) and deaths (424,000) despite being the third most populous country. There were 151,000 cases and 1,900 deaths recorded Monday.

Both numbers are roughly following the global trajectory — a slight decline since earlier this month.

Britain, meanwhile, could overtake Russia to register the fourth-highest number of cases. It currently has 3.7 million cases and the third-highest number of deaths — 100,000. The country reported more than 22,000 new cases Monday and nearly 600 new deaths.

British Prime Minister offered “deepest condolences” for the Britons who have died since the start of the pandemic.

“I think on this day I should just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and, of course, as I was prime minister, I take full responsibility for everything that the government has done,” he said.

Countries are seeking to push vaccine efforts, with U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday saying he now has a new goal to vaccinate 150 million people within the first 100 days of his administration. He previously wanted to hit the 100 million milestone in the same time period.

Britain is among the world’s leaders in vaccination rates. As of Sunday, the country had vaccinated 6.6 million people with at least one dose, nearly 10% of its population. A New York Times analysis shows that if it keeps that pace, a majority of the country will be fully vaccinated in about three months.

Leading the way on vaccinations is Israel, which has reported giving at least one dose to about 30% of its citizens. It and the United Arab Emirates are expected to be a majority vaccinated in about a month.

The United States, meanwhile, is looking at being majority vaccinated in about six months. At least 18.5 million people in the country have received one dose.