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The global number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged past 50 million following record numbers of new cases in several countries.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.25 million people have now died after contracting the new coronavirus.

However, the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.

A second wave of the virus has accounted for a quarter of all cases, Reuters reported.

Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicenter of the pandemic earlier this year.

In the US, just under 10 million have tested positive for Covid-19. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row.

The states of North and South Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.

President-elect Joe Biden has vowed a much more aggressive approach to the pandemic, after President Donald Trump repeatedly downplayed its gravity and resisted public health measures including wearing masks and social distancing.

Joe Biden has vowed to name a group of top scientists to his coronavirus task force as early as November 9, wants more testing and plans to call on every American to wear a mask when they are around people outside their own household.

He is likely to take charge when the pandemic is at its peak in the country, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says.

Dr Gottlieb told media that the rate of new infections would probably be starting to decrease by late January, and “the only question is going to be how many people have died in the course of this and how many people have been infected”.

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In Europe, France recorded 38,619 new cases on November 8 – many less than November 7 record increase of 86,852 cases. However, the health ministry said it had problems collecting data and there would be a correction on November 9.

France also registered 271 deaths, bringing the total to 40,439. The country is just over a week into a second lockdown with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.

Under the lockdown restrictions, expected to be in place until December 1, people can only leave their homes to go to work if they cannot work from home, to buy essential goods, seek medical help or to exercise for one hour a day.

India and Brazil have also been hard hit.