Washington-The global tally of people infected by the coronavirus shot past 50 million on Monday, as United States President-elect Joe Biden geared up to name the scientists who will lead the country’s response to its disastrous outbreak.

The incoming leader made the pledge in his first speech since being projected as the winner of the presidential election, signaling he plans to prioritize the pandemic from the outset.

Covid-19 has left more than 237,000 people dead in the US and is surging across the country, which last week voted out Donald Trump in a nailbiting poll.

“On Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris plan and convert it into an actual blueprint that will start on January 20, 2021,” Biden told supporters, referring to the day he will be sworn in as commander-in-chief and get the keys to the White House.

“The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One,” his new transition website said.

According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, the number of cases in the US is nearing 10 million and shows no sign of slowing, despite Trump’s claim the world’s biggest economy is “rounding the corner.”

- Myanmar 

street parties -

The raging pandemic  which first emerged in central China almost a year ago -- did not deter voters in Myanmar, where excited crowds bunched together in their eagerness to cast their ballots.

Hundreds of die-hard supporters ignored warnings and gathered in a premature celebration, dancing, singing and waving flags outside the Yangon headquarters of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).

“We’ll happily go to hospital for an NLD victory!” 25-year-old Thazin Swe said, as she hailed Aung San Suu Kyi’s likely win.