Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

Family with masks on in Indonesia

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than 4.7 million confirmed cases in 188 countries. More than 300,000 people have lost their lives.

This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.

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.

Confirmed cases around the world

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Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated

17 May 2020, 18:46 BST

Note: The map and table in this page use a different source for figures for France from that used by Johns Hopkins University, which results in a slightly lower overall total.

The US has by far the largest number of cases, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 89,000 fatalities, it also has the world’s highest death toll.

France, Italy, Spain and the UK – the worst-hit European countries – have all recorded more than 27,000 deaths.

In China, the official death toll is some 4,600 from about 84,000 confirmed cases, although critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.

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This information is regularly updated but may not reflect the latest totals for each country.

** The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average. Due to revisions in the number of cases, an average cannot be calculated for this date.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated: 17 May 2020, 18:46 BST

The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (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 true number of cases is thought to be much higher than the reported figures, as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

Globally, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – have been living under social distancing measures, 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.

Where are coronavirus cases still rising?

While some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following the introduction of strict lockdown restrictions, others are only now seeing them rise.

A sharp increase in cases in Latin America has led the WHO to say the Americas are currently at the centre of the pandemic.

These charts show four countries where deaths are on an upward trajectory – as shown by the red lines.

Brazil now has the fourth highest number of infections in the world – overtaking Spain and Italy. However, the country’s health experts have warned that the real number of confirmed infections could be far higher, due to a lack of testing.

Bruno Covas, mayor of Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, has warned its health system could collapse because of the growing demand for emergency beds.

Mexico has also seen a spike in new infections, while Ecuador saw its health system collapse in April.

Outside South America, Russia has seen infections rise rapidly and now has the second highest number worldwide, according to official data. It has been reporting around 10,000 new cases a day for over a week.

In Africa, Lesotho confirmed its first cases on 13 May, which means coronavirus is now present in all countries on the continent, mainly in urban populations. Worst-hit are South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

Europe continues to see cases and deaths fall

After being labelled the “epicentre of the pandemic ” by the WHO in March, Europe is now slowly beginning to ease restrictions brought in to slow the spread of the virus.

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.

The UK and Italy have seen more than 30,000 deaths, while France and Spain have recorded more than 28,000 and 27,000 respectively.

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.

European countries have varied in their plans to ease lockdowns, but the WHO has urged all nations to adopt a “slow, steady” approach.

New York the worst-hit in US outbreak

With more than 1.4 million cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. It has also recorded more than 89,000 deaths.

The state of New York has been particularly badly affected, with more than 28,000 deaths, but the number of new cases there has been on a downward trend in recent weeks.

At one point, more than 90% of the US population was under mandatory lockdown orders, but many states have now begun to loosen their stay-at-home restrictions and allowed some businesses to reopen – a move health officials fear could further spread the virus.

Only 14 US states have met the federal recommended guidelines for reopening – which suggest a decline in new cases daily for two weeks – according to a study by Reuters.

The top US infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci has cautioned against opening up public life too soon, warning of further “little spikes” which would become outbreaks.

President Trump, who disagrees with Dr Fauci’s advice, has made it clear he is keen to reopen the US economy “vaccine or no vaccine”. He was speaking on Friday at the launch of a project aiming to deliver a coronavirus jab by the end of the year.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powel, has warned the US economy could “easily” contract by 20-30% amid the pandemic and the downturn might last until late 2021.

The latest figures show more than 36 million people have lost their jobs since the outbreak hit the US. That’s nearly a quarter of the American workforce.

The rise means the jobless rate is now worse than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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 the 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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