Global COVID-19 infections nearing 2 million cases

The worldwide number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus stood at 1.9 million on Monday (April 13).

The numbers were driven mostly by the United States which has close to 600,000 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The brunt of the disease has been felt most heavily in New York (over 100,000 cases) Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Close to 120,000 people have died worldwide, while nearly 449,600 have recovered.

Officials around the world worried that halting quarantine and social-distancing measures could easily undo the hard-earned progress that those steps have achieved in slowing the spread.

Still, there were signs countries were looking in that direction. Spain permitted some workers to return to their jobs, while a hard-hit region of Italy loosened its lockdown restrictions. Governors on both coasts of the US announced that they would join forces to come up with a coordinated reopening at some point, setting the stage for a potential conflict with President Donald Trump, who asserted that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to reopen.