The cumulative worldwide total of infections with the novel coronavirus exceeded 250 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University of the United States.

Supplied electron micrograph shows the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)(Kyodo)

The latest data comes as the pace of daily COVID-19 cases has started to pick up again since mid-October, with some European countries reporting surges in daily figures.

The World Health Organization has warned of potential outbreaks involving new variants of the coronavirus if the uptrend in infection cases continues.

Worldwide, the total number of COVID-19 infections topped 100 million in January and reached 200 million in August. Deaths from the disease surpassed 5 million on Nov. 1.

According to a WHO tally on Oct. 31, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections had increased by 3.02 million in a week, rising for the second week in a row.

While many countries are reopening their economies in line with mass vaccination progress, the WHO has said it is important for people to wear masks in crowded environments and sanitize their hands to prevent outbreaks, rather than depending solely on vaccines.

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