How coronavirus has spread across the world
This handout photograph taken on January 30, 2020 and released by Zhang Hai, shows medical workers standing around Zhang Lifa, the father of Zhang Hai, as he is treated for the COVID-19 coronavirus in a hospital in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province. Some families accuse the Wuhan and Hubei provincial governments of concealing the outbreak when it first emerged there late last year, failing to alert the public, and bungling the response, allowing Covid-19 to explode out of control.
AFP/Zhang Hai, Handout
How coronavirus has spread across the world
(Agence France-Presse) - September 25, 2020 - 4:23pm

PARIS, France — On January 11, the first coronavirus death was officially recorded in China. Eight months after the identification of the disease that appeared in Wuhan in December 2019, the world is on the brink of recording one million deaths.

1,000 deaths in the first month

The Sars-CoV-2 virus which causes the illness known as Covid-19 first spread rapidly in China, particularly in the province of Wuhan. In the space of one month, the country recorded one thousand deaths.

That initial toll was worse than the total number of deaths caused by earlier acute respiratory syndrome SARS, which circulated in Asia in 2002-2003 and led to 774 fatalities.

Countries and territories outside continental China were relatively untouched at that point but the virus was already starting to circulate there.

The Philippines registered its first case on February 2 and Hong Kong two days later, followed by Japan and France on February 13 and 14.

'Black April' for Europe and US

In February cases soared. By March 11, when the WHO declared the new coronavirus a "pandemic", 4,500 deaths had been recorded worldwide, across 30 countries and territories.

Two-thirds were still in China but Italy (800 deaths) and Iran (300 deaths) saw cases escalate, with deaths soon following.

The number of people dying every day in Europe and the United States rose swiftly up until mid-April, reaching peaks in the second week of more than 4,000 and 2,700 average daily deaths respectively.

Today the United States remains the hardest-hit country for deaths, with over 200,000 recorded.

On a global scale, the deadliest week was April 13 to 19 when more than 7,460 coronavirus deaths were officially reported every day. By then the total number of deaths worldwide had risen to nearly 170,000, or double the level reported on March 31.

Since the start of June, the average number of deaths per day has hovered around 5,000.

Latin America, the new epicentre

In June, the epicentre of the pandemic shifted to Latin America and the Caribbean. From July 15 to August 15, recorded deaths in the region did not drop below an average of 2,500 per day.

Only then did they start to fall gradually, reaching an average 1,900 deaths per day last week.

Brazil became the country with the most deaths in total after the United States (more than 138,000). Taking into account the size of their populations, Peru (958 deaths per one million inhabitants), Bolivia (659), Brazil (650), Chile (644) and Ecuador (630), are among the 10 worst-affected countries worldwide, alongside European countries like Belgium (859) and Spain (661).

A second wave?

In Asia, where the toll was lower than 100 deaths per day up until mid-April, fatalities have been steadily increasing. The continent has exceeded 1,000 deaths per day almost continually since July 20 and is today approaching 1,500 (1,407 on average over the last seven days).

India has been the worst hit, recording a total of 90,000 deaths (more than 1,100 per day last week).

Cases are also rising again in Europe, reinforcing concerns about a possible second wave. New cases on the continent are around 20 percent higher this week than last and deaths are up 28 percent at 614.

Fatalities are also increasing again in the Middle East (around 330 last week, up 18 percent on the week before).

Africa and Oceania spared

According to official statistics, Africa has been less affected than other continents: deaths have been falling since August (fewer than 200 per day in mid-September, after a peak of around 400 in early August).

In Oceania, meanwhile, the average daily number of deaths has never exceeded two dozen.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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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