Returning to the podium Thursday for the first time since recovering from the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he could confirm that the U.K. is "past the peak of this disease."

Why it matters: The U.K. has Europe's second-highest death toll, behind Italy, and the number of active cases continued to tick upwards last week even as it fell in other hard-hit countries like France and Spain. With the situation now improving, Johnson said he'll announce a "comprehensive plan" next week for re-opening the economy, schools and transportation.

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Updated 4 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases

A health worker in Nigeria checks students' temperatures on August 4. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekepei/AFP via Getty Images

African countries collectively surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases this week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: Some health experts believe that the true number of COVID-19 cases among African countries is higher than that figure due to a lack of testing, and fear that undetected cases could overload some of the world’s weakest health systems, according to AP.

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production

Bill and Melinda Gates at the Lincoln Center in September 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting $150 million into an effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries in 2021, global vaccination alliance Gavi announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Poorer countries have been most affected by the pandemic's disruption for noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization reports. Even in wealthy countries like the U.S., low-income people are among the most likely to become seriously ill if infected with the virus, along with minority populations.