The worldwide tally for novel coronavirus infections surpassed 4.5 million Friday, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The university’s running data shows that the global death toll from the virus has reached 304,835, with the number of recoveries exceeding 1.61 million.

The US remains the hardest-hit country by the pandemic with around 1.42 million diagnosed cases and 86,386 deaths.

It is followed by the UK with 34,077 fatalities and Italy with 31,610 deaths.

A total of 27,459 people in Spain have lost the battle against the virus, followed by France with 27,428 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Russia has the second-highest number of cases at nearly 263,000, followed by the UK, Spain and Italy.

China, ground zero of the virus, has registered 84,031 cases so far and its death toll continues to stand at 4,637.

Overall, the virus has spread to 188 countries and regions.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who contract the virus suffer mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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