(Reuters) – The United States has become the world’s first nation since the pandemic began to surpass 10 million coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally on Sunday, as the third wave of the COVID-19 virus surges Across the country.
The dark milestone came on the same day global cases of the coronavirus surpassed 50 million.
The United States has reported around one million cases in the past 10 days, the highest infection rate since the country reported its first new case of coronavirus in Washington state 293 days ago.
The country reported a record 131,420 COVID-19 cases on Saturday and has reported more than 100,000 infections five times in the past seven days, according to a Reuters tally.
The latest reported seven-day U.S. average of 105,600 daily cases, increased by at least 29%, is higher than the combined average for India and France, two of the worst-affected countries in Asia and from Europe.
More than 237,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the disease caused by the coronavirus first emerged in China late last year.
The daily average of new deaths reported in the United States is one in 11 deaths worldwide every day, according to a Reuters analysis.
The number of reported deaths across the country rose by more than 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, a trend last seen in mid-August, according to a Reuters tally.
Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after infections spike.
US President-elect Joe Biden, who has spent much of his election campaign criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, pledged on Saturday to make the fight against the pandemic a top priority.
Biden will announce a 12-member pandemic task force on Monday that will be led by former surgeon general Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler. The coronavirus task force will be tasked with developing a plan to contain the disease once Biden takes office in January.
The Midwest remains the hardest-hit region based on the highest number of cases per capita, with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska being the five worst-hit U.S. states.
Illinois has become the new epicenter of the Midwest, with the state reporting more than 60,000 COVID-19 infections in the past seven days, the highest in the country, according to Reuters data. The state reported more than 12,454 new cases on Saturday, the highest number in a single day to date.
Texas, which accounts for 10% of total U.S. cases, is the hardest-hit state and became the first to exceed one million coronavirus cases in the United States on Saturday.
According to a Reuters analysis, the South region comprises nearly 43% of all cases in the United States since the start of the pandemic, with nearly 4.3 million cases in the region alone, followed by the Midwest, the West and Northeast.
New York, with more than 33,000 deaths, remains the state with the highest number of deaths and accounts for about 14% of total deaths in the United States.
The United States performed about 10.5 million coronavirus tests in the first seven days of November, of which 6.22% came back positive, up from 6.17% in the previous seven days, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project , a volunteer-led effort to track the outbreak.