Six months into the worst global pandemic in recent history, what do the numbers show?
Though the virus is still continuing its spread across the world, with more than 7 million confirmed cases in 188 countries, the rate of infection may finally be slowing down.
Total Cases and Deaths to Date
The coronavirus, which is triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Since that time, nearly 7,500,000 cases have been reported across the globe. Of course 7.5 million people infected, more than 421,000 have died as a result of COVID-19.
Infections in the United States account for 25% of the global total, making America the leader in the number of coronavirus cases worldwide. The U.S also has the highest death toll- 113,665 as of June 12, followed by the United Kingdom and Brazil.
However, making these comparisons isn’t as cut-and-dry as it may seem. In its official data reporting on the coronavirus, the BBC explains, “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.”
The BBC continues, “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.”
Some countries’ reported data have been questioned and doubted, especially China’s. As the BBC’s Robin Brant reported in April, “there are lingering questions over how far these figures, and therefore China’s narrative on the outbreak, can be trusted.”
Where Are Cases Rising and Falling?
The pandemic did not emerge in every city and country simultaneously, so some areas of the world are still experiencing rising coronavirus cases while others are working to eliminate the virus altogether.
Latin America experienced a sharp increase in infections during the second half of May, leading the WHO to declare the Americas as the new center of the pandemic. Throughout May and June, four places in particular have reported an upward trajectory of COVID-19 deaths: Brazil, Mexico, India, and Pakistan.
European countries like the UK, Italy, Spain, and France, on the other hand, appear to have passed their infection peaks as the number of new confirmed cases and deaths continue to fall. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) responded to reopening measures with a clear warning, emphasizing that limiting the spread of the disease would depend on how well people adhere to rules as restrictions are gradually lifted.
“The pandemic is not over,” said ECDC director Andrea Ammon.
NYC, the U.S City Hit Hardest By Coronavirus Outbreak
While the city of Wuhan, China widely known as the original site of the pandemic, New York City has become known as the United States’ epicenter of infection.
Of the 381,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of New York through June 10, 209,000 occurred in New York City. The majority of New York’s deaths also occurred in NYC: 17,193 out of a total of 24,442.
Fortunately, New York’s outbreak appears to be on the decline. The number of daily deaths dropped from 1,000 a day in April to between 50 and 70 in early June.