Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 above 250.4 million and U.S. to buy more Merck antiviral if authorized


The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 250.4 million on Tuesday, while the death toll edged above 5.05 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 46.6 million cases and 755,6431 deaths. The U.S. is still averaging about 1,200 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, although cases and hospitalizations are declining, outside of hot spots that include California and Colorado. The U.S. government will exercise options to buy 1.4 million additional courses of the antiviral pill molnupiravir developed by Merck and privately held Ridgeback Biotherapeutics for $1 billion if the treatment wins FDA authorization, the companies announced. That brings the total commitment from the U.S. government to 3.1 million course of molnupiravir for $2.2 billion, between authorization and early 2022. The U.S. government still has options to buy 2 million more courses. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.4 million and has suffered 461,389deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 609,573 and 21.9 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 244,588 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 142,293.

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