- Confirmed coronavirus infections have soared past 250,000. The epicenter of the outbreak has shifted from East Asia to Europe.
- Governments around the world are implementing social distancing measures, but it’s doing little to stem the spread of the virus.
- South America, South Asia and Africa continue to report very low infection numbers. This is probably because of climatic factors or lack of testing.
The global coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 250,000 infections, and it is growing at an accelerating rate.
The pandemic’s epicenter has shifted away from East Asia to Europe with Italy and Spain facing a rapidly expanding caseload that is pushing their healthcare systems to the brink.
Governments around the world are implementing increasingly strict travel restrictions and quarantines. But as the coronavirus caseload continues to soar, it may be too little too late to stop the disease from spreading rapidly in the coming weeks.
Viral Spread is Slowing in East Asia
The Coronavirus outbreak has subsided in its original epicenter of Wuhan, China where 67,800 of China’s 81,250 cases were confirmed.
Right now, Hubei has 6,285 active cases of the infection, but 58,382 people have recovered as the pandemic spreads to new epicenters around the world.
Elsewhere in Asia, the viral spread has also subsided.
South Korea, which experienced a surge of cases in early May, is now seeing its caseload growth slow dramatically. The country reports a substantial number of infections at 8,565, but the number of new daily infections has dropped to new lows. The Asian country only reported 152 additional cases and seven additional deaths on Thursday.
The coronavirus is also slowing in Japan, which reports just 963 cases despite its proximity to China.
Coronavirus has also failed to take root in Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific despite the huge numbers of Chinese tourists that frequented these areas. Australia reports 876 cases while Thailand reports 322.
Indonesia reports 369 cases, but its 8.7% death rate suggests the real number of infections could be much higher.
Europe is Experiencing the Highest Number of New Infections
Coronavirus has pivoted away from central China and made Europe its new epicenter. Caseloads are soaring all over the continent with Spain and Italy especially hard hit.
Spain, Germany and France reported an additional 3,308, 2,993, and 1,861 cases, respectively.
The death rates in Europe are also rising at an unprecedented pace despite the continent’s well-developed healthcare system.
Spain reported 193 additional deaths on Thursday while France reported 108. Italy reported a staggering 427 deaths, bringing its total number of deaths above Wuhan, China.
North America Braces for the Impact of Coronavirus
The United State’s coronavirus infection numbers are growing at a rate second only to Italy with 4,530 new infections reported on Thursday.
America reports 13,789 confirmed cases which, although substantial, is still a drop in a bucket compared to its large population.
America’s relatively low coronavirus infection rate can be traced to its government’s decision to limit travel with China early in the pandemic. But as uncontrolled community spread continues in the country, this may soon change.
America’s coronavirus pandemic is concentrated in major urban centers like New York, which reports 7,102 cases, Washington, which reports 1,228 cases, and California which has 1,057 infections. Death rates remain relatively low in most American cities.
New York is reporting a case fatality rate of 0.49% while Washington state is home to the most fatal outbreak with a death rate of 6.1%.
Africa, the Middle East and South America
Coronavirus has exploded all over Africa, but the total caseload remains extremely low. It is unclear if this is because of climactic factors or lack of testing.
Africa’s worst outbreaks are located in Egypt, which reports 256 cases, and South Africa, which reports 202 cases.
Out of the two cases reported in Sudan, one has already ended in death. The patient had no known travel history, and this suggests the country may be experiencing undetected community spread.
Coronavirus has also spread all over South America. Brazil and Chile are the hardest hit with 342 and 651 cases, respectively.
The Middle Eastern outbreak is concentrated in Iran, which reports a staggering 19,644 cases. Its fatality rate of 7.2% is among the highest in the world.
Infection is spreading across the region, with Saudi Arabia reporting 274 infections and Iraq 192.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:40 PM