Confirmed coronavirus cases in the world reach 20 million

As of Monday, confirmed infections in the United States stood at over 5 million, with deaths topping 163,000, the highest in the world, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the world topped 20 million.

It was reported on Sunday that over 5 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, a grim milestone that comes just days after the global death count from the novel coronavirus reached over 700,000. 

The United States' confirmed case count far surpasses that of any other country. Brazil is the country with the second-highest number of confirmed cases with over 3 million, followed by India with over 2.1 million and Russia with more than 886,000, according to Aug. 9 data from Johns Hopkins.

Schools are reopening as new infections run at about 54,000 a day in the U.S. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most of them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicted the U.S. could see an increase of 11,000 COVID-19 deaths per week by Aug. 22, based on data gathered from forecasts from 34 different modeling groups. 

The CDC forecasts that total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 could reach 173,000 by Aug. 22 — with a possible range between 168,000 to 182,000.

New cases began surging in June after many U.S. states reopened their economies, resulting in some governors pausing reopening plans or closing certain businesses once again.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Aug. 2 that the virus was “extraordinarily widespread” in the U.S. and infections in urban and rural America marked a “new phase” for the pandemic in the country.

The U.S. State Department also lifted its “Global Level 4 Health Advisory” on Thursday, which was previously put in place to limit international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions,” the U.S. State Department said in a notice posted online.

This is a developing story. Check back for more. 

Catherine Park contributed to this story.