Just eleven months after the first reported COVID-19 infection,the global tally has surpassed 60 million cases.
That is the latest figure by Worldometer on Wednesday, with the global death toll standing at one.four million.
There's been ten million cases reported in the past 16 days alone, and the pace is getting faster.
The hardest-hit country is still the U.S. with 13 million cases, followed by India, Brazil and France.
Yet, the race for the COVID-19 vaccine is also gaining speed.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday that the vaccine could start being distributed soon after December 10th.
That is the day that a Food and Drug Administration panel meets to consider emergency use authorization for Pfizer's vaccine.
"With over 1,000 people perishing per day, we want to, our mission at Operation Warp Speed is about saving lives. Every hour, every day matters and so we're going to work to try to minimize any type of delay there."
According to industry sources, South Korea is also in the process of examining AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate, in an effort to accelerate the approval process.
The industry watchers say that if the application goes well, then the first approval in South Korea could be given by March next year.
This follows AstraZeneca's vaccine results that suggest the efficacy of the vaccine could be up to 90 percent when taking the full second dose after an initial half dose.
The EU on Tuesday has also announced that it has made a deal for the vaccine with pharmaceutical company Moderna.
The President of the European Commission said that the deal ensures 1-hundred-60 million doses.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News