As bleak a milestone in the pandemic as the new figures are, unconfirmed cases are believed to be far higher. More than 130,000 people have died from Covid-19.
The coronavirus pandemic passed 2 million confirmed infections and 130,000 deaths worldwide on Wednesday — bleak markers that experts say vastly understate the true spread and toll of the contagion because of a lack of testing.
The figures have roughly doubled in 13 days and continue to grow steadily.
The actual number of cases is much higher than the official figures suggest, with countries varying in how much they are testing people.
Even as some European countries, including Germany, hopeful that the worst is behind them, begin to take careful steps to lift restrictions imposed to slow the virus, outbreaks in many parts of the world are still considered far from their peaks.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a nationwide lockdown for nearly three more weeks, leaving more than one billion people under severe restrictions and urging Indians not to “let our guard down.”
In the United States, the lack of testing capacity has emerged as a signature failure of the Trump administration’s response and now threatens to hamper efforts across the country to plan for an eventual reopening of the economy.
On Wednesday, during the first conference call of President Trump’s economic advisory council on reopening the economy, several business executives echoed a cry that health officials and state and local leaders have been making for weeks, according to one participant: The country needs more testing.