The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection worldwide has surpassed 71.58 mln, rising over 24 hours by more than 496,000. According to the data of the World Health Organization (WHO) published on Tuesday, the number of fatalities over 24 hours has increased by more than 8,400, surpassing 1.61 mln, according to TASS.

As of 21:51 (GMT+4) on December 15, the WHO received reports of 71,581,532 infections and 1,618,374 fatalities. The number of infections over 24 hours has increased by 496,156 while the fatalities rose by 8,443.

The WHO statistics takes into account only officially confirmed data on incidence and fatalities submitted by the states.

Over 48% of the infections reported to the WHO over the past 24 hours are in North and South America (240,197). Europe is in the second place (188,227) with Southeast Asia in the third place (32,028).

The majority of the infections were recorded in the US – 16,041,095, followed by India (9,906,165), Brazil (6,901,952), Russia (2,707,945), France (2,338,726), the UK (1,869,670), Italy (1,855,737), Spain (1,751,884), Argentina (1,498,160), Colombia (1,425,774), Germany (1,351,510) and Mexico (1,250,044).