Covid-19 pandemic: Tracking the global coronavirus outbreak
By The Visual and Data Journalism TeamBBC News
- 14 December 2020
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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with over 70 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and more than 1.5 million deaths.
The virus is surging in many regions and countries that had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks are also seeing infections rise again.
In the table below, countries can be reordered by deaths, death rate and total cases. In the coloured bars on the right-hand side, countries in which cases have risen to more than 10,000 per day are those with black bars on the relevant date.
Note: The map, table and animated bar chart in this page use a different source for figures for France and the UK from that used by Johns Hopkins University, which results in a slightly lower overall total. US figures do not include Puerto Rico, Guam or the US Virgin Islands.
Coronavirus cases have surged over the past few months in several regions of the world and large numbers of new infections are being reported daily.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the vaccines starting to get approval for public use are no magic bullet for the coronavirus crisis and do not mean that the pandemic will end soon.
“Vaccines do not equal zero Covid,” said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan. “Vaccination will add a major, major, powerful tool to the tool kit that we have. But by themselves, they will not do the job.”
The UK and Canada have become the first countries to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.
But as populations await vaccine roll-out, cases remain high across a number of regions of the world.
US has most cases and deaths
The US has recorded more than 16 million cases and nearly 300,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figures in the world.
Daily cases have been at record levels since early November and there are now over 100,000 people in hospital , more than in either of the two previous waves.
The outbreak has had a devastating impact on the US economy, although there are now some signs it is recovering.
Nearly eight million Americans, many of them children and minorities, have fallen into poverty since May, according to researchers .
Europe cases level off
Daily cases have now fallen in many European countries after steep rises in October.
Lockdowns and other restrictions were reintroduced in some of the worst-affected regions to help bring numbers down.
Where else has seen high cases?
Asia was the centre of the initial outbreak, but the number of cases there was relatively low until India saw a surge in infections over the summer.
India has seen nearly 10 million confirmed cases, the second-highest official total in the world after the US, but the daily number has been falling since September.
In Latin America, Brazil has nearly seven million confirmed cases and the world’s second highest death toll. The country is currently seeing a second surge in infections.
Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have also recorded more than one million cases and all three countries are still seeing very high numbers of daily confirmed cases.
Peru is also approaching the milestone of one million cases, although daily cases are falling. The country has one of the highest deaths rates in the world.
Africa has recorded more than two million cases, but the true extent of the pandemic there is not known as testing rates are low.
South Africa, with more than 800,000 cases and nearly 23,000 deaths, is the worst affected country on the continent.
Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and Tunisia are the only other African countries to officially record more than 100,000 cases.
How did coronavirus spread?
The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
The outbreak spread quickly across the globe in the first months of 2020 and declared a global pandemic by the WHO on 11 March.
A pandemic is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.
Governments across the world have been forced to limit public movement and close businesses and venues in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. This has had a devastating impact on the global economy.
Damage to the world’s major economies is four times worse than the 2009 global financial crisis, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said that up to 265 million people could face starvation by the end of the year because of the impact of Covid-19.
The pandemic could also wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality, data from UN Women suggests .
- UK LOOK-UP: How many cases in your area?
- TESTING: What tests are available?
- JOBS: How will I be kept safe at work?
- SYMPTOMS: What are they and how to guard against them?
- HOLIDAYS: Where can I go away in the UK?
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 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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