The number of novel coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 15 million on Wednesday, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll from the virus is nearing to 618,000, with recoveries topping 8.5 million, the data showed.

The US remains the worst-hit country with more than 3.91 million infections, while the death toll in the country stands at 142,350. The country registered more than 1.18 million recoveries to date.

Brazil, which has the largest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Latin America, is second-highest in infection numbers globally, with more than 2.15 million.

The country reported nearly 81,500 pandemic-related fatalities, while the recoveries topped 1.56 million.

India, Russia, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, Chile, the UK and Iran are also among the hardest-hit countries.

China, the ground zero of the virus, has registered 85,314 cases, including 4,644 deaths and 80,018 recoveries.

The virus has spread to 188 countries and regions since late last year.

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