COVID-19 outbreak: Global cases doubled in 45 days

Updated: 12 August, 2020 10:19 IST | Agencies | Mito

About one-fifth of reported deaths, or more than 1,63,000, have been in the US, the highest in the world. Caseloads are still rising quickly in many other countries, including Indonesia and Japan

People form a queue outside a government clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. File pic/AP
People form a queue outside a government clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. File pic/AP

Since first surfacing in China late last year, the novel Coronavirus infected 10 million people worldwide in the next six or so months, but it took just a little over six weeks for the figure to double.

In the past 45 days the global reported infections doubled to 20 million. Health officials believe the actual number is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40 per cent of those who are infected have no symptoms.

About one-fifth of reported deaths, or more than 1,63,000, have been in the US, the highest in the world. Caseloads are still rising quickly in many other countries, including Indonesia and Japan.

With nearly 5,00,000 cases and more than 50,300 deaths, Mexico has struggled with how to curb outbreaks given that just over half its people work off the books with no benefits or unemployment insurance. In Japan, where outbreaks have been widening as officials urge people to consider this year's summer holidays "special" and stay home, the positivity rate of tests in Tokyo, the worst hit region, has been climbing but remains at 7 per cent.

The UK and Spain have seen new outbreaks after the worst of the early waves of cases paralysed much of Europe. That outbreak held steady on Tuesday with 331 new cases and 19 more deaths in Victoria. Meanwhile, outbreaks in mainland China and semi-autonomous Hong Kong declined.

NZ sees 1st cases of local spread

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday said authorities have found four COVID-19 cases in one Auckland household from an unknown source, the first reported cases of local transmission in the country in 102 days. People in Auckland have been asked to stay at home, and bars and many other businesses have been closed till Friday for widespread contact tracing.

Threat of 5 lakh HIV deaths in SA

In sub-Saharan Africa, a study by UNAIDS found that a six-month disruption of antiretroviral therapy could lead to 5,00,000 additional AIDS-related deaths. The disruptions are particularly troubling in South Africa, which has 7.7 million HIV-positive people, with 62 per cent of those depending on the government's antiretroviral programme. Anti-coronavirus curbs have hindered both imports of the drugs and the local production and distribution of the medications, according to a report by UNAIDS.

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First Published: 12 August, 2020 07:09 IST

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