By WILLIAM MANSELL and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.

Over 44.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has also varied from country to country.

The United States is the worst-affected nation, with more than 8.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 227,703 deaths.

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.

Here’s how the news is developing Thurday. All times Eastern:

Oct 29, 8:30 am
Tents set up at every hospital in El Paso

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, are setting up tents to deal with the increase in COVID-19 patients as the U.S. sees a surge of new cases across the country.

All hospitals in the city, according to ABC News affiliate KVIA-TV, have now started to build tents as of Wednesday night.

“Our hospitals continue to implement our surge plans to expand capacity to help manage the influx of Covid-19 patients to meet the rapidly expanding needs of El Paso,” a Hospitals of Providence spokesperson told the station. “Medical tents will help decompress the Emergency Departments.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced on Wednesday that the El Paso Convention Center is being converted into a health care facility to expand hospital capacity in the area.

“The State of Texas is also providing local hospitals with auxiliary medical units, medical staffing, and medical equipment,” the Texas Division of Emergency Management said.

There were 845 new cases of COVID-29, which brings the city to at least 13,653 active cases as of Wednesday, according to local officials. There were three new deaths, which brings the death toll in El Paso to 583.

The seven-day rate of positivity in El Paso is 15.57%. There are 908 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the city, with 223 patients in ICUs and 111 on ventilators. There are 285 ICU beds in total in El Paso.

With the spike in cases in El Paso, city officials asked residents this week to largely stay at home: “For the next two weeks, we are asking you to please stay home unless for essential activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent strain on our hospitals.”

In Texas, there have been more than 911,000 diagnosed cases since the pandemic began, with at least 18,162 deaths.

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