The total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 7 million early Monday, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The university's data showed that the global tally of fatalities had reached 402,730, while the number of recoveries topped 3.14 million.

The US remains the worst-hit country with over 1.94 million infections, while its death toll exceeds 110,500.

Brazil, which has the largest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Latin America, has the second highest number of cases worldwide with more than 691,700, followed by Russia with around 467,000 and the UK with over 287,600 cases.

Several European countries are also among the hardest hit in the world.

China, the ground zero of the virus, has registered 84,191 cases so far, including 79,434 recoveries. The country's death toll stands at 4,638. Barely changing figures continue to raise questions in and outside China.

Overall, the virus has spread to 188 countries and regions since it first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who contract the virus suffer mild symptoms before making a recovery.