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Global Covid-19 Update - January 4

Your Summary of Worldwide Data, News, Research, and Government Updates Brought to you by Silverseal

Situation Report

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 over 85 million confirmed cases by early January.

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with more than 85 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and nearly two million deaths.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the virus will continue to spread rapidly in the coming months.  WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “There will be setbacks and new challenges in the year ahead – for example new variants of Covid-19 and helping people who are tired of the pandemic continue to combat it.”

The US has recorded nearly 20 million cases and more than 350,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figures in the world. Daily cases have been at record levels since early November and there are about 125,000 people in hospital, double the number in either of the two previous waves.

In Latin America, Brazil has about eight 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.

Many European countries saw a resurgence in cases during the autumn, and most brought back lockdowns and other restrictions to curb infections. However the UK is experiencing another steep rise in cases driven by a new, more easily spread, variant of the disease.

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 recorded more than 10 million cases, the second-highest official total in the world after the US, but the daily number has been falling since September.

Africa has recorded more than three million cases, but the true extent of the pandemic there is not known as testing rates are low. Concern is growing about a South African variant of the disease which is thought to share some similarities with the new UK strain, including being more easily transmissible. South Africa, with more than one million cases and nearly 30,000 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.

Global Numbers

Total New Cases and Deaths


REGION Cases (Total, New) Deaths (Total, New)

86,060,067 (4,635,257)

1,859,495 (82,073)
Africa 2,866,837 (184,080) 68,025 (5,018)
North America 24,396,210 (1,888,450) 525,053 (26,746)
South America 13,379,156 (484,307) 366,190 (3,439)
Asia 20,974,609 (543,946) 341,771 (8,541)
Europe 24,393,945 (1,533,808) 557,375 (32,316)


Confirmed Cases by Country (including recovered)

Confirmed Deaths by Country

Europe’s average count of coronavirus-related deaths overtook Asia’s in early March, with Italy, Spain and the UK becoming the global hotspots. 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 southern and western states.

Latin America then became the epicentre of the pandemic, with the region accounting for almost a half of deaths each day. However, a recent surge of cases in Europe means Covid-19 remains very much a global pandemic.

Covid-19 Breakdown by Continent

Confirmed Cases Including Recoveries
Confirmed Deaths