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The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the disease COVID-19, has caused to date more than 350 million cases in the world and more than 5.5 million deaths, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University, which monitors the situation of the coronavirus with general data from all the countries in the world since the beginning of the pandemic.
On January 7, 300 million infections were exceeded worldwide and in just two and a half weeks another 50 million cases have been added, at an average rate of more than three million new infections every day, after 2021 will end with figures above one million daily infections for the first time in the entire pandemic due to the extension of the omicron variant.
The United States is the country with the highest death toll, with 866,000 deaths; followed by Brazil, above 623,000; and India with 489,000 deaths.
This is how the number of cases and deaths in the world evolves.
The year 2022, the third of the pandemic, has begun with more than 300 million infections just five months after they exceeded 200 million in August last year. Six months earlier they had exceeded 100 million. The country with the most infections in absolute terms continues to be the United States, followed by India and Brazil.
The registered COVID-19 cases around the world rose 20% in the week of January 10 to 16 to add around 18 million new infections, while the number of deaths remained stable with some 45,000 deaths caused by the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, according to the latest report from the World Health Organization.
Although the The increase in cases is moderating compared to previous weeks -the last one in December added 70% more infections and the first one in January 55%-, infections have increased in all regions except Africa, where they have dropped by 27%. The largest increases have occurred in Southeast Asia (145%), the Eastern Mediterranean (68%), the Western Pacific (38%), the Americas (17%), and Europe (10%).
The deaths, meanwhile, have increased another 4% in the last week -in the previous one they did 3%-. The largest increases have been recorded in Southeast Asia (12%) and America (7%), while in Europe grew by 3%. They have only decreased in Africa, 4%.
By countries, those that have reported the most cases are the United States (up to 4 million infections as in previous weeks), France (2 million, 26% more), India (1.5 million, 150%), Italy ( 1.2, 25%) and United Kingdom, which has added another 813,326 infections, 33% less than the previous week.
Begining of June, Peru conducted a review of their data which involved the incorporation of more than 115,000 deceased by coronavirus to its official statistics. With more than 202,000 registered deaths, the South American country has thus become the country with the highest mortality rate in the world.
All in all, the official count of COVID-19 deaths is certainly lower than the actual excess deaths. The WHO itself estimates that the real numbers of deaths from coronavirus are two or three times higher than the official count, due in large part to the collapse experienced in the health system of many countries that has prevented faithful monitoring of the impact of the disease.
Data by continents
In U.S, the hardest-hit nation, the arrival at the White House of Democrat Joe Biden marked a change of course in the management of the pandemic. On the other hand, China, the epicenter country of the outbreak, has contained the advance of the pandemic for months. Now in Asia The most affected country is India, the second most populous in the world, which has not been able to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
In Africa, the pace of infections has accelerated. The continent has just exceeded 10 million cases and 235,000 deaths, when vaccination rates are still very low. And in Latin America, the countries with the most cases are Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.
In Oceania, the tonic has been severe restrictions. Australia, which has registered more than 2 million infections and more than 3,000 deaths, is experiencing the worst moment of the pandemic after keeping the virus at bay for almost two years. New Zealand, which imposed a very strict confinement, declared the country free of coronavirus in the summer of 2020 and he did it again months later after controlling his active outbreaks.
The coronavirus, which has already left more than five million deaths worldwide, has, however, had a unequal lethality in each territory: Although the United States, Brazil and India are the three countries with the most deaths in absolute terms, the comparison between the deaths of countries with more than one million inhabitants in relation to their population reveals that Peru is the one with the highest mortality rate, with 620 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Spain, which came to occupy second place in this ranking, currently reports a rate of 196 deaths and is no longer among the twenty with the highest mortality.
The following graph shows the accumulated data of the pandemic in each continent and the proportion it represents with respect to the total. America accumulates 36% of diagnoses and 44% of deaths, while a third of infections and 28% of deaths have occurred in Europe.
However, this distribution has not always been like this. The virus has already circled the world several times.. Since the pandemic broke out in China at the end of 2019, the different waves of infections and deaths have affected the planet unevenly. Cases grew in Europe in March 2020, although the virus hit America soon, and in October the million deaths were already reached on a global scale. In January 2021, the coronavirus exceeded one hundred million people infected and a few months later it reached two hundred. The advance of new variants, such as delta and the recent omicron, has caused cases to accelerate around the globe.
The pandemic in Spain
The coronavirus spread through Spain from February 2020 and in mid-March forced to impose the state of alarm to try to stop the infections and alleviate the saturation in hospitals. For more than two months, the Spanish suffered one of the strictest confinements in the world, which did not prevent health services were overwhelmed in many places before flattening the curve.
With everything, Spain continues to be one of the countries with the most cases and deaths with COVID-19 on the planet and after a rebound of SARS-CoV-2 in the summer, it is in a better state, thanks in large part to the high coverage of its vaccination campaign. How is the situation now?
Methodology and sources
For the preparation of this information, data from the Ministry of Health or official sources of each country were used, which were combined with those offered on a global scale by the Center for Science and Engineering of the Johns Hopkins University in the United States. However, the latter is the only source of data for the graphs of this news since August 2021. However, the information from this body is periodically contrasted with official sources to ensure its accuracy.
To reduce the inconsistency of the data pending consolidation, the curves of cases, countries that have reported the most cases in the last 14 days and deaths only reach up to three days before the current date.
We use the definition of countries set by the United Nations: 193 countries, Palestine and the Vatican. Since last July, the graph of daily deaths per 100,000 inhabitants shows the countries that have registered at least 100 deaths and that are among the 15 most populous on each continent.
For its part, the table of cases and deaths of COVID-19 in the world orders the countries from highest to lowest cumulative incidence. To harmonize this measure in all latitudes, the definition of cases per 100,000 inhabitants notified in the last 14 days is used, whose evolution can be observed in the graph that accompanies each territory. The variation of the incidence is calculated with respect to the period of 14 days immediately after that contemplated in the main indicator. As for deaths, the deaths reported in the last seven days and their rate per 100,000 inhabitants with respect to the population of each country are shown.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.