What the world now knows as coronavirus started in December 2019 in China as a grouping of pneumonia diseases with little-known causes. After thorough investigations by leading medical experts around the globe, the primary cause was determined to be a new virus. It is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) dubbed as coronavirus 2. The cause of the illness is a virus called COVID-19.
The WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. For the affected people, they exhibit symptoms such as fever, and a cough. In severe cases, many suffer from difficulty breathing. But how has COVID-19 affected the world, and what do the numbers say?
COVID-19 death toll
Data from the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows that, as of 18:30 GMT, 24 March 2020, there were a total of 18,227 deaths worldwide from COVID-19. A total of 1788 people died on that day. Italy had the highest number of deaths at 743, followed by Spain (489). The USA saw its death toll increase to 606. The death toll in Spain has more than doubled since 20 March 2020.
Data from Worldometers shows that there were 31,683 new infections worldwide, as of 18:30 GMT, 24 March 2020. The numbers included both domestic and repatriated cases. The WHO’s Coronavirus disease situation reports show that a majority of new infections worldwide are through local transmission, with imported cases reported in many countries in Africa.
Countries most affected by COVID-19 as of today
Confirmed cases of Coronavirus have spanned the whole world. John Hopkins COVID-19 resource center has verified 424,069 cases globally so far. Many countries have put strict measures to contain the virus, including imposing travel bans and closing their borders. Despite that, some nations have been hard hit by the virus than others. But what are some of the most affected countries?
- China – 81,218 confirmed cases and 3,281 deaths
- Italy – 69,176 confirmed cases and 6,820 deaths
- USA – 54,935 cases and 784 deaths
- Spain – 42,058 cases and 2,991 deaths
- Germany – 32,991 cases and 159 deaths
- Iran – 24,811 cases and 1,934 deaths
- France – 22,304 and 1,100 deaths
Although Germany has high cases of COVID-19, its death toll is relatively low at less than 200 people.
Progress in finding the COVID-19 cure
After COVID-19 became a global threat, medical experts around the globe have been trying to come up with solutions to curtail the pandemic. The following is what some companies have been doing.
- Ascletis Pharma has been conducting clinical trials of ganovo and ritonavir combination therapy on novel coronavirus pneumonia.
- CanSino Biologics has had its investigational vaccine against the virus approved for a clinical trial.
- Gilead Sciences has been recruiting patients diagnosed with the virus to determine whether giving them remdesivir doses can help to change the effects of the infection.
- Moderna Therapeutics conducted its first coronavirus vaccine human trials and has been preparing to scale production if phase one of testing proves that its mRNA-1273 vaccine is safe.
Although the above companies are still in Phase I (apart from Gilead Sciences in Phase III), suffice to say that there is progress in the fight against COVID-19.
The latest news on equipment supplies for COVID-19
The biggest challenge to the fight against COVID-19 has been equipment supplies. The medical equipment supply chain in many countries was caught off guard by the virus because of its rapid growth. Getting enough ventilators, gowns, and hospital masks have been difficult globally. As a result, governments have responded by coming up with emergency declarations and public appeals to remain indoors to curtail the rate of new infections.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, it has claimed the lives of over 18,000 people globally. Data shows that most new infections are through local transmission, although some countries in Africa have imported cases. Despite that, many companies in the medical field have been making progress in looking for a vaccine.