Covid: US passes 10 million confirmed coronavirus cases

Joe Biden Credit: AP/Press Association Images

The US has confirmed more than 10 million people have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The country hit the grim milestone on Monday as infections continue to rise in nearly every state.

The US has the highest number of Covid cases globally and accounts for about a fifth of the world’s 50 million confirmed cases.

America also has the highest Covid death toll worldwide, with more than 237,000 lives lost to the respiratory disease.

New daily confirmed cases of coronavirus are up more than 60% over the past two weeks, to an average of nearly 109,000, and average daily cases are on the rise in 48 states.

Over the same time period, the nation's coronavirus deaths are up 18%, averaging 939 each day.

The 10 million milestone came on the same day that a Covid-19 vaccine which has proven 90% effective based on results from final "stage three" human trials, was announced.

The work of US drug giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech, developers said results showed "initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19."

Also on Monday, US President-elect Joe Biden has implored Americans to "wear a mask” to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

Mr Biden said in a speech that wearing masks could slow the death toll in the pandemic, which he noted could climb by 200,000 before a vaccine is widely available.

He said: "We are Americans, and our country is under threat - please, I implore you, wear a mask."

Mr Biden noted masks could save the lives of older people, children and teachers, before adding: "It could even save your own life."

Mr Biden added that he does not take office until January but he is assuming a public leadership role in the fight against the pandemic ahead of being sworn in.