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The cumulative worldwide total of infections with the novel coronavirus has surpassed 200 million as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to rage in many countries, U.S. university data showed Wednesday (August 4).

The latest data by Johns Hopkins University show that the number of COVID-19 infections has doubled in roughly six months since the figure exceeded 100 million on Jan. 26.

As vaccines became available in many countries, the numbers of new coronavirus infections had declined, prompting some to ease restrictions on businesses and travel.

But the trend has apparently reversed amid the rampant spread of the Delta variant, with infection cases and deaths picking up again around the world.

The weekly figures for new COVID cases have been on the uptick since late June.

While the United Nations and the World Health Organization have called for fair access to coronavirus vaccines, low-income countries are far behind in offering shots to their populations, even medical workers.

The death toll from COVID-19 stood at around 4.25 million as of Wednesday, with the United States remaining at the top with over 614,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil with some 558,000.

India, where the Delta variant was first detected, was third with over 425,000 deaths.

In terms of infections, the United States has reported about 35.29 million cases while India has claimed around 31.77 million cases and Brazil nearly 20 million.