Global coronavirus cases top 1 million as pandemic spreads
Healthcare workers attend to a COVID-19 patient upon his arrival at the Hotel Melia Barcelona Sarria on April 2, 2020 in Barcelona, as the hotel was transformed into a medical structure to treat the least serious cases amid the outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged past 10,000 after a record 950 deaths in 24 hours, with the number of confirmed cases passing the 110,000 mark, the government said.
AFP/Pau Barrena
Global coronavirus cases top 1 million as pandemic spreads
(Agence France-Presse) - April 1, 2020 - 8:00am

PARIS, France — The number of officially reported coronavirus cases worldwide topped the one million mark on Thursday, signifying a sharp acceleration in the number of infections and deaths over the past few weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads exponentially. 

What do the latest figures tell us?

At least 1,000,036 infections have been reported worldwide and 51,178 deaths, according to an AFP tally on Thursday at 1900 GMT. 

In the past seven days, as many new cases have been diagnosed around the world as in the 86 days previously. The number of reported deaths has doubled since March 27. To date, at least 186,000 people are considered to have recovered from the disease.

The sharp acceleration in the number of infections mean that the pandemic is now spreading at an alarming rate. 

Europe is currently the epicentre of the pandemic, with a total of 542,191 cases and 37,715 deaths, equivalent to 54 percent and 73 percent of the respective global totals. On March 7, the number of cases in Europe had stood at fewer than 10,000. 

The spread has been accelerated over the past few weeks. In just over 10 days, the number of deaths has increased seven-fold, topping 37,000 on April 2. 

But the situation in the United States is even more alarming. As of March 27, it was the hardest-hit country in the world in terms of the number of infections. 

On March 2, the US had officially registered only 68 infections, but now has more than 234,000. Since March 28 — in only five days -—the number of cases has doubled. 

And the number of deaths is following the same trajectory: the first death was reported in the US on March 1, but the toll rose to 5,607 on Thursday. That represents a doubling in the last three days alone. 

Highest mortality in Italy, Spain

Only Italy and Spain have higher death tolls.

Italy registered 115,242 cases and 13,915 deaths, while Spain reported 110,238 infections and 10,003 fatalities. 

All three countries now have more cases than China, the country where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, but where the numbers have slowed markedly over the past month. China has a total 81,589 cases and 3,318 deaths, including just 31 in the past week. 

Out of every 100 deaths in Europe, nearly 36 were registered in Italy and 27 in Spain. 

But the confinement measures that both countries have implemented in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19 finally appear to be bearing fruit. Two weeks ago, the number of reported cases in Italy was increasing at a daily rate of 15 percent. But that has slowed to less than five percent in the past few days. In the last 24 hours alone, only 18 new patients were admitted to intensive care in the country. 

In Spain, the daily growth rate in the number of infections now stands at eight percent, compared with 15-20 percent last week. 

In Europe and the rest of the world, the other countries hardest hit are France with 73,743 cases and 5,387 deaths (including those reported in old people's homes); Iran with 50,468 cases and 3,160 deaths; Britain with 33,718 cases and 2,921 deaths; the Netherlands with 14,697 and 1.339; Belgium with 15,348 and 1,011; Germany with 73,522 and 872; Switzerland with 18,194 and 431; and Turkey with 18,135 and 356 respectively.

Africa, despite its huge population of 1.3 billion, has so far only recorded 6,804 cases and 273 deaths. The only continent that has even fewer is Oceania with 5,949 cases and 27 deaths. 

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of infections topped the 20,000 mark on Wednesday and stood at 23,133 on Thursday, including 653 deaths. 

The Middle East reported 64,083 cases and 3,306 deaths and the whole of Asia registered 112,356 cases and 4,003 deaths. 

The tally has been compiled using data from AFP bureaus, as well as statistics from the relevant national authorities and from the World Health Organization. — Data team and AFP bureaus

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 20, 2020 - 3:04pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

October 20, 2020 - 3:04pm

A number of European countries took urgent new measures on Monday to combat a second wave of coronavirus infections, as the World Health Organization blamed the surge in worldwide cases — now more than 40 million — on countries' failure to quarantine infected people properly.

Ireland and Wales became the first countries on the continent to re-enter lockdown as the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Europe passed 250,000, according to an AFP tally.

Irish prime minister Micheal Martin issued a nationwide "stay at home" order from midnight Wednesday, with all non-essential retail businesses to close and bars and restaurants limited to takeaway service only, although schools will remain open. — AFP

October 20, 2020 - 7:29am

Canada, in the midst of a second wave of COVID-19 illnesses, topped 200,000 cases and inched closer to 10,000 deaths Monday, according to official data compiled by Canadian broadcasters CBC and CTV.

About 80% of these cases and more than 90% of the deaths were recorded in the country's two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, which has been the epicenter of the country's epidemic since it broke out in Canada last March.

As of Monday afternoon, Canada had 200,039 cases and 9,772 dead — with its two westernmost provinces still to report their updated tallies — according to the public health data.

That amounts to 532 cases per 100,000 people in the country of 38 million, or five times fewer than in the United States. — AFP

October 19, 2020 - 10:37pm

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,114,836 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 GMT Monday.

At least 40,064,580 cases of coronavirus have been registered, of whom at least 27,549,400 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases. — AFP

October 19, 2020 - 8:30pm

South Africa's Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said he has tested positive for COVID-19 just two days after the country's diagnosed cases topped 700,000.

The 64-year-old minister is the fifth member of the government to contract the virus after his colleagues in the ministries of defence, labour, trade and mineral resources.

"I wish to inform the public that this afternoon my wife, Dr May Mkhize, and I have tested positive for COVID-19," said Mkhize is a statement late Sunday. — AFP

October 19, 2020 - 3:44pm

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed 40 million on Monday, according to an AFP tally at 0715 GMT based on official sources.

A total of 40,000,234 infections and 1,113,896 deaths have been recorded across the globe. More than half the global caseload has come in the three hardest-hit countries: the United States with 8,154,935 infections, India with 7,550,273 and Brazil 5,235,344.

In just the last seven days more than that 2.5 million cases have been reported, the highest weekly number since COVID-19 emerged in China late last year.

The increase can only partly be explained by a sharp increase in testing and still likely does not include a large number of less severe or asymptomatic cases. — AFP

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