Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

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Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly around the world, with more than 2.4 million cases now confirmed in 185 countries. At least 167,000 people have died.

The United States has seen more than three times as many confirmed cases as any other country.

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

How many deaths have there been?

Confirmed cases around the world

2,399,481 cases

167,575 deaths

602,344 recoveries

Group 4

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Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated

The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

It is spreading rapidly in many countries and the death toll is still climbing.

The US has by far the largest number of cases, with more than 766,000 confirmed infections, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. This is more than nine times the number reported by China.

The US also has the world’s highest death toll with more than 40,000 fatalities including more than 14,000 in New York City alone.

Spain and Italy – the worst hit European countries – have each recorded more than 20,000 deaths, while France and the UK have suffered more than 20,000 and 16,000 respectively.

In Latin America, Ecuador’s official coronavirus death toll is 507. But the government says 6,700 people died in Guayas province alone in the first two weeks of April, far more than the usual 1,000 deaths there in the same period. Guayas is home to Guayaquil – the nation’s largest city.

And in Japan, where the number of confirmed cases has hit 10,000, health workers have warned that hospitals risk being overwhelmed, amid reports that some are turning sick patients away.

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

Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated: 20 April 2020, 19:10 BST

Note: The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average

China’s official death toll from the outbreak is just over 4,600 from some 83,800 confirmed cases. Numbers for deaths jumped on Friday after what officials called “a statistical review”. Critics of the Chinese government have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.

China has now lifted many of the stringent measures it took to bring the disease under control, including a ban on all travel to and from Wuhan.

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 WHO said it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases worldwide, but it took less than a week for the number to double from 500,000 to a million. It then took two weeks to top two million.

While more than 2.4 million people are known to have been infected worldwide, the true figure is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

Governments across the world have halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home.

More than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – are estimated to be now living under social distancing measures to slow the pandemic, according to the AFP news agency.

The global economy faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund has said.

On Monday the price of US oil turned negative for the first time in history.

Oil producers have been paying buyers to take the commodity off their hands over fears that, with demand shrinking, storage capacity could run out in May.

Europe is battling to slow infection rates

Italy and Spain remain the worst affected countries after the US, although the slowing of infection rates appears to show the success of social distancing,

On Monday, the number of people currently infected with Coronavirus in Italy fell for the first time.

Spain has more than 200,000 confirmed cases – the second highest global figure – while Italy has the second highest death toll of more than 24,000.

Both countries have been in lockdown since early March, however some quarantine measures are starting to be relaxed.

Spanish children, who have been kept indoors at home since 14 March, are expected to be allowed outside on 27 April.

In the UK, there have been more than 125,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,000 deaths.

Like Spain, deaths in the UK grew rapidly at first, doubling faster than every two days. That rate of increase has now slowed, but on Thursday the government said that lockdown restrictions would not be lifted for at least another three weeks.

Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn says the country’s month-long lockdown has brought the outbreak there under control – although the number of deaths is still rising.

The German government is allowing small shops, bookshops, garages and bicycle shops to open their doors, as long as they apply social distancing measures. The German government has warned that its economy – Europe’s largest – could contract by almost 10% as a result of the crisis.

In the Czech Republic, farmers’ markets, car dealerships and some other small businesses have now re-opened.

Other countries such as Denmark have begun opening up schools for under-11s.

New York is epicentre of US outbreak

With more than 766,000 cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The number of deaths now stands at more than 40,000.

The state of New York has more confirmed cases than anywhere else in the world, and there have been more than 14,000 deaths in New York City alone.

Despite these grim statistics, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo says cases are starting to level off as the effect of social-distancing measures begins to be seen.

On Saturday President Trump announced that state governors have been given three-phase plans to allow a gradual easing of lockdowns.

“America wants to be open and Americans want to be open,” Mr Trump said. “A national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution.”

The outbreak is having a major economic impact, with figures showing the number of people making a new claim for unemployment benefits surging to a record high.

On Thursday, the US government said that it had received 20 million claims for unemployment benefits over the preceding four weeks.

  • A visual guide to the economic impact of coronavirus

Much of the planet is on lockdown

Strict lockdowns were imposed around the world as the outbreak took hold.

From Argentina to New Zealand and from Saudi Arabia to South Africa, cities were shut down, restricting how often people could leave their homes and for what reason. India told the country’s 1.3 billion residents to stay at home.

In Paris, authorities banned exercise during the day to reduce the number of people out on the streets.

Singapore, where authorities were initially praised for containing the virus, has also now imposed a “semi-lockdown” as it faces a surge of infections linked to industrial worksites and tightly-packed worker dormitories.

Data on planned journeys in major cities, from the travel app Citymapper, shows how people in places like London, Madrid, Istanbul and New York are now moving around far less than they were a few weeks ago.

The data shows that while Milan in northern Italy has been locked down for weeks, many other cities have been restricting movement for a much shorter period.

While movement is also down in the South Korean capital Seoul, the city hasn’t ground to a halt like European capitals, despite facing huge numbers of coronavirus cases. This is perhaps an indication of the country’s decision to focus on testing and contact tracing, rather than imposing a lockdown.

In Sweden, the government has avoided strict measures, issuing guidelines rather than rules. And Stockholm’s chart shows people are taking the advice – with passenger numbers on subway and commuter trains far below normal levels.

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