Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than nine million confirmed cases in 188 countries. Nearly 500,000 people have lost their lives.
This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus.

Where are coronavirus cases and deaths still rising?

While some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, others are still seeing figures rise.

A sharp increase in cases in Latin America in the second half of May led the World Health Organization (WHO) to say the Americas were the new centre of the pandemic. But there have also been new spikes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

These charts show four countries – Brazil, Mexico, India and Pakistan – where cases (in blue) and deaths (in red) have been on an upward trajectory in recent weeks.

Brazil, Peru, Chile, Mexico and Ecuador are among the Latin America countries that have seen widespread outbreaks.
The WHO says the pandemic has not yet reached its peak in Central and South America.

Brazil recorded its second-highest daily death toll – 1,374 – on Wednesday. It is only the second country in the world, after the US, to have confirmed more than one million cases. The death toll stands at more than 50,000.

India and Pakistan have also seen a surge in infections and deaths – although the number of new cases in the latter has fallen slightly in recent days. The healthcare systems in both countries are under strain.

Which countries could be seeing a ‘second wave’ of cases?

Previous pandemics have unfolded in ‘waves’ of infections, with fresh outbreaks recurring after the initial peak subsides. Health experts fear that Covid-19 will follow a similar pattern – but there is no firm agreement on what exactly constitutes a second wave.

Although a number of countries have seen a rise in infections after appearing to have the virus under control, they may still be in the first stages of the outbreak.

And rising cases may sometimes be down to simply finding more cases through increased testing.

Fears of a second wave have grown in Iran, where the number of daily deaths has risen to around 100 per day for the first time in two months.

Israel has also seen a surge in cases since easing restrictions at the end of May.

Portugal has increased restrictions on businesses and public gatherings in and around the capital Lisbon after a fresh spike in cases.

Australia meanwhile is sending 1,000 army personnel to assist with a spike in infections in the state of Victoria.

China has also been dealing with a small outbreak believed to be connected to a Beijing wholesale market, but officials now believe the disease has been contained.

How many cases and deaths have there been?

The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

It then spread quickly across the globe in the first months of 2020.

The US has by far the largest number of cases – now more than 2.3 million and about 25% of the global total – according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. It also has the world’s highest death toll, followed by Brazil and the UK.

In China, the official death toll is some 4,600 from about 85,000 confirmed cases, although critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.

South Africa and Egypt have seen the largest outbreaks so far in Africa. But testing rates are reported to be extremely low in some parts of the continent so this could be distorting understanding of how far the virus has spread.

Globally, the true number of cases is thought to be much higher than the reported figures, as many people with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

In the table below, countries can be reordered by deaths, death rate and total cases. In the coloured bars on the right-hand side, countries in which cases have risen to more than 5,000 per day are those with black bars on the relevant date.

The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the WHO on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.

The WHO has warned that the pandemic is a long way from being over and says people should be prepared for new outbreaks, especially in areas where lockdowns are eased.

Globally, at least 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – were living under social distancing measures at the height of the pandemic in Europe, according to the AFP news agency’s estimates.

Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund warning the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The United Nations World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.

New surge in US cases

Top US health officials are warning of a “disturbing” rise in cases in the US, with a number of states reporting record daily coronavirus infections.

Cases and deaths in the US had appeared to peak in late March, but by May, cases were declining and most states had begun to end restrictions and reopen businesses.

The University of Washington predicts 180,000 US deaths by October – or 146,000 if 95% of Americans wear masks.

So far, the US has recorded about 2.4 million cases of the virus and more than 120,000 deaths.

The White House has said the rise in cases is a product of an uptick in US testing capacity. But Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US health official for infectious diseases, has warned that higher percentages of positive tests in some states “cannot be explained by increased testing”.

Governors across the US have been eager to reopen their states because of the dire effect the pandemic has had on the economy.

More than 45 million people in the US have applied for unemployment benefits at some point since March, with the downturn officially being declared a recession earlier this month.

Europe eases lockdown restrictions

In Europe, the UK, Italy, Spain and France, along with others, now appear to have passed the peak, with the number of new confirmed cases and deaths falling.

As many countries ease restrictions, the WHO has warned that cases are rising in the region again for the first time in months.

On Thursday WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge said that “accelerated transmission” is occurring in a number of countries including Albania, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Ukraine.

And the risk of a second wave of infections requiring the reintroduction of lockdowns is moderate to high, according to the EU agency that monitors infectious diseases.

In Germany, authorities in the North Rhine-Westphalia region have reintroduced some lockdown measures after a coronavirus outbreak linked to a meatpacking plant.

The UK has reported more than 43,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest number in the region. Italy has the second highest death toll with about 35,000, while both France and Spain are just below 30,000.

However, differences in population size and how countries report their figures, with some including deaths in care homes, or deaths of those suspected but not confirmed of having the virus, means international comparisons are complicated.

About this data

The data used on this page comes from a variety of sources. It includes figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, national governments and health agencies, as well as UN data on populations.

When comparing figures from different countries it is important to bear in mind that not all governments are recording coronavirus cases and deaths in the same way. This makes like for like comparisons between countries difficult.

Other factors to consider include: different population sizes, the size of a country’s elderly population or whether a particular country has a large amount of its people living in densely-populated areas. In addition, countries may be in different stages of the pandemic.

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