Confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide surpassed 40 million on Monday morning, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States (8.1 million), India (7.5 million), Brazil (5.2 million) and Russia (1.4 million) lead the world with the highest numbers of cases.
Worldwide deaths linked to the virus total 1.1 million worldwide. The U.S. continues to lead the world in deaths linked to the virus with 219,674.
The grim milestone comes as case rates around the world are spiking, marking some of the highest daily totals of new cases since the disease began spreading. On Friday alone, 411,337 people around the world were diagnosed with COVID-19 — the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
The U.S. appears to be among the main drivers of the spike in case rates around the world. After averaging a staggering 90,000+ new cases a day last month, India has made efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Within the past few days, the U.S. surpassed India as the country with the highest rate of new cases, with an average of more than 60,000 a day.
Infectious disease experts in the northern hemisphere warn that the coming weeks are vital in slowing the spread of the virus ahead of the winter months. Experts like Dr. Antony Fauci say that it will be much more difficult to stop the spread of COVID-19 as people move activities indoors during colder weather.