World Reaches Grim Milestone of 200 Million COVID Cases Globally, as Delta Variant Surges

The total number of recorded COVID-19 cases worldwide has hit 200 million on Wednesday, according to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

This milestone, which does not account for any cases that have gone unrecorded is disconcerting as the world grapples with a surging Delta variant. It is a record number that stands to prove how much the virus has affected the globe as the more infectious variant continues to threaten areas with low vaccination rates and puts immense strains on the world's healthcare systems.

According to a report from Reuters, the world hit 100 million cases in over a year, while the next 100 million were reported in just over six months.

Cases are rising in about one-third of the world's countries, many of which have not even given half their population the first dose of a vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) called Wednesday for a moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least 10 percent of the population in every country was vaccinated, Reuters reported.

According to The New York Times, the global toll of COVID-19 related deaths was 4.2 million people as of Wednesday.

The United States currently tallies more than 614,000 deaths, with more than 550,000 in Brazil and over 425,000 recorded in India. Mexico has recorded more than 240,000 fatalities, and Peru has nearly 200,000. Britain, Colombia, France, Italy, and Russia have all recorded over 100,000 deaths. More than 910,000 deaths were reported in Asia and the Middle East as well.

The Reuters analysis also reported the United States accounts for one in every seven infections reported worldwide, with states like Florida and Louisiana holding the record for the lowest vaccination rates.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted that by the fall, there will be up to 200,000 new cases daily in the United States.

"What we're seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don't get vaccinated—that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people," Fauci said.

And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant accounts for more than 90 percent of the country's new infections.

"We're very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants—particularly against severe illness," Fauci said. "We're very fortunate that that's the case. There could be a variant that's lingering out there that can push aside Delta."

Newsweek reached out to the World Health Organization for further comment.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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The global tally of cases hit 200 million on Wednesday amid surges in the Delta variant. An inmate receives a COVID-19 vaccination at Harare Central Prison on August 4 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images