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Global Covid cases top 100 million as new strains emerge

A tally from Johns Hopkins University places the U.S. first in global infections with more than 25 million.
Two nurses put a ventilator on a patient in a Covid-19 unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., on Jan. 7, 2021.Jae C. Hong / AP file

Global Covid-19 cases topped 100 million Tuesday as virus mutations continue to create new concerns, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The milestone comes less than three months after the world hit 50 million cases, and just over a year after the first case was diagnosed in the U.S.

The U.S. remains the leader in recorded cases of the coronavirus with more than 25 million infections. India ranks second with more than 10.5 million cases, and Brazil third with almost nine million, according to John Hopkins.

The 100 million mark comes as countries around the world are struggling to adapt to emerging mutations of the virus and vaccine rollout has begun in some parts of the world.

The U.K variant, which spreads more easily and quickly than others, has been detected around the world, including in the U.S. and Canada. There is currently no solid evidence that it causes more severe illness or risk of death, according to the CDC, and current vaccines in the U.S. appear to be effective against the strain.

But questions remain around the South African variant, which was first seen in early October, and has not yet been detected in the U.S.

Moderna announced Monday it will upgrading its vaccine after it was shown to be less effective against the South African strain.

The Biden administration has pledged to vaccinate 50 million people, with 2 doses of the vaccine, in its first 100 days. And on his second day in office, Biden signed 10 executive orders to ramp up vaccinations, expand testing and reopen schools as he outlined a detailed plan to tackle the pandemic.

Still, the President has warned that there is a long road ahead for the country. "We didn't get into this mess overnight and it is going to take months to get it turned around," Biden said last week, warning the country will likely top 500,000 deaths in February.