WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- John Hopkins University’s tracking on Thursday posted over one million coronavirus cases globally.
- More than 50,000 deaths were recorded worldwide including thousand from the United States, China, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and the UK.
- Most countries impacted by the pandemic order lockdowns and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
John Hopkins University’s latest tracking as of Thursday showed that coronavirus cases have officially reached one million globally.
The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory disease identified by symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty of breathing, which can also lead to pneumonia. The disease can be fatal specifically for people who have underlying medical conditions. Compared to other infectious diseases like SARS or Ebola, this virus spreads faster though the mortality rate is relatively lower.
As of this writing, fatalities have reached over 50,000 including thousands in the United States, China, and Iran. European countries such as Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom also recorded a massive death toll.
In certain parts of the globe including India which has 1.3 billion population, authorities have implemented large-scale lockdowns and ‘stay-at-home’ regulations as measures to mitigate the pandemic.
Officials in Wuhan, China, advised in the last weeks of December 2019 that they had been handling dozens of patients infected by a new virus. China confirmed the first death attributed to the virus on January 11.
In January, based on a World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, the United States, Japan, South Korea and Thailand announced their first official cases.
On February 11, WHO officially named the virus COVID-19, acronym for coronavirus disease 2019. On February 14, just three days after, the first death was confirmed in Europe, while Egypt had its first case on the same day.
Iran, on February 19, reported two confirmed patients who died hours later. The impact of the virus in the country was bad — by early March, the country temporarily released thousands of prisoners while around 24 parliamentary officials tested positive for COVID-19.
In late February, Italy suddenly experienced a spike of cases. Milan was one of the areas greatly affected.
In Latin America, a 61-year-old man from Brazil was the first confirmed case detected on February 26. The following day, the first COVID-19 death, a patient near Seattle, was reported in the US.
On March 11, the WHO announced that the virus is “pandemic” and by March 13, the US declared a national state of emergency.
Worldwide, over 171 countries have had at least one reported case of COVID-19.