Global coronavirus infections surged past 15 million today, as stated by a Reuters tally, with the pandemic gathering pace even as countries remain divided in their response to the crisis.
In USA, which has the most number of cases in the world with 3.91 million infections, President Donald Trump warned: “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better.”
The top five countries with the most cases is rounded out by Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. But, the Reuters tally shows the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas, which account for more than half the world’s infections and half its deaths.
Globally, the rate of new infections shows no sign of slowing, according to the Reuters tally, based on official reports.
After the first COVID-19 case was reported in Wuhan, China, this year in January, it took around 15 weeks to reach 2 million cases. By contrast, it took just eight days to climb above 15 million from the 13 million reached on July 13.
Health experts stress that official data almost certainly underreports both infections and deaths, specifically in countries with limited testing capacity.
The official number of coronavirus cases at 15,009,213 is at least triple the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, as stated by the data of World Health Organization, while the death toll of more than 616,000 in seven months is close to the upper range of yearly influenza deaths.
With the first wave of the virus still to peak in several countries and a resurgence of case numbers in others, some countries are reintroducing strict social distancing measures while others relax restrictions.
Stung by low approval ratings for his handling of the epidemic and downplaying the risks during the early stages, Trump made a significant shift in rhetoric yesterday, encouraging Americans to wear a face mask.
While the epidemic worsened in the United States, Trump’s focus ahead of a presidential election in November has been on reopening the economy, and governors in the hard-hit states of Texas, Florida and Georgia continue to push back hard against calls for stricter restrictions.
In Brazil, over 2.15 million people have tested positive including President Jair Bolsonaro, and over 81,000 people have died. While Bolsonaro has played down the outbreak, its scale has made Brazil a prime testing ground for potential vaccines.
India, the only other country with more than 1 million cases, reported almost 40,000 new cases today. Having been keen to reopen its economy, India is now facing the twin challenge of combating the pandemic and massive flooding in the country’s northeast.
Two ministers in South Africa’s cabinet were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, as Africa’s most-industrialised country counted a total 372,628 confirmed cases and 5,173 deaths.
Other countries are reintroducing restrictions in response to fresh outbreaks.
In Spain, the number of people allowed on Barcelona’s beaches was limited after crowds flocked to the seaside over the weekend despite advice to stay home.
In Australia, residents of Melbourne, were ordered to wear masks in public from today after Australia reported a record 501 new cases.
Officials in Canada were closely watching a spike in cases as the economy reopens, attributing the rise in part to large numbers of young people gathering in bars.
China, meanwhile, declared that passengers on inbound flights must provide negative COVID-19 test results before boarding, as authorities seek to reduce the risk of imported cases amid increased international travel.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.