Global Covid-19 Update - February 8
Your Summary of Worldwide Data, News, Research, and Government Updates Brought to you by Silverseal
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, with more than 100 million confirmed cases by mid-January and over 2.3 million deaths.
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Coronavirus is still spreading around the world, with more than 100 million confirmed cases and 2.3 million deaths across nearly 200 countries.
Several coronavirus vaccines have now been approved for use, either by individual countries, or blocs such the EU and WHO. Of the 72 countries and territories administering vaccines and publishing rollout data, 51 are high-income nations, 21 are middle-income and none are low-income. Some countries have secured more vaccine doses than their populations need, while other lower-income countries are relying on a global plan known as Covax, which is seeking to ensure everyone in the world has access to a vaccine.
The figures collated by Our World in Data – a collaboration between Oxford University and an educational charity – shows the total number of doses given per 100 people, mostly first doses. The US (41 million) and China (31 million) have given the most doses overall, while the UK has administered about twelve million so far. But when breaking the figures down by population, looking at doses administered per 100 people in the 10 countries giving the most vaccinations, Israel, the UAE and the UK top the list. Most countries are prioritising the over-60s, health workers and people who are clinically vulnerable.
In North America, The US has recorded more than 27 million cases and 463,000 deaths, the highest figures in the world. Daily cases were at record levels in early January but they are now falling. More than 80,000 coronavirus patients are in hospital, but those numbers are dropping too. Canada, which has a far lower death rate than the US, also experienced a winter surge but daily cases are also falling there now.
In Latin America, there is concern about a new variant of the virus which is spreading rapidly in Brazil. The country has more than nine million confirmed cases and the world’s second highest death toll. It is currently in the middle of a second surge in infections. Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru have all recorded more than one million cases and continue to see high numbers of daily confirmed cases.
Daily cases have now fallen in most European countries, with Spain and France notable exceptions. The UK and Spain have seen the highest numbers, with Russia and France not far behind.
Asia was the center of the initial outbreak that spread from China in early 2020, but the number of cases and deaths there has been lower than in Europe and North America. The region saw a large rise in the number of cases last autumn, driven by a surge in infections in India, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Other Asian countries, like Indonesia and Malaysia, are still trying to bring their current outbreaks under control.
Several countries in the Middle East have had deadly coronavirus outbreaks over the past 12 months, with Iran, Iraq and Israel having seen the highest numbers. All three countries appear to have now brought infections under control after recent surges – although the drop in cases has stalled in Iran and Iraq. Israel’s efforts have been helped by its vaccination programme, with about five million doses administered.
Africa has recorded more than 3.6 million cases, but the true extent of the pandemic in many African countries is not known as testing rates are low. South Africa, with more than 1.4 million cases, is the worst affected country on the continent, according to official figures. A variant of the virus discovered in South Africa has now spread to a number of other countries. Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and Kenya have also recorded more than 100,000 cases.
Total New Cases and Deaths
|REGION||Cases (Total, New)||Deaths (Total, New)|
|Africa||3,693,401 (101,445)||95,332 (4,098)|
|North America||31,647,289 (944,302)||686,893 (31,504)|
|South America||16,433,575 (535,678)||428,784 (12,712)|
|Asia||23,639,754 (484,391)||380,406 (6,718)|
|Europe||31,419,920 (1,031,186)||739,863 (33,169)|
Confirmed Deaths by Country
Europe’s average count of coronavirus-related deaths overtook Asia’s in early March. From mid-April, focus shifted to the US, where the number of deaths has remained consistently high, although the focus of the epidemic has shifted from the northeast to other regions of the country.
Latin America became the epicentre of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, with the region accounting for almost a half of deaths each day. However, the surge in Europe since the autumn means Covid-19 remains a global pandemic.