Global coronavirus cases hits 3 million with one-third of infections in US

27 April 2020, 18:30

The USA is by far the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic
The USA is by far the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

More than three million people worldwide have now tested positive for coronavirus with roughly one-third of those living in the US.

The harrowing Covid-19 milestone was reached on Monday afternoon, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University - at the time of writing it stands at 3,002,303.

There have now been more than 208,000 deaths across the globe, with about one in four victims coming from the US.

Of the almost 56,000 deaths in America, three in ten of those have died in the state of New York, which has been one of the worst-hit regions in the world.

On the global chart for coronavirus cases, New York alone places fifth behind Italy, Spain, France and the UK (if US states were on the chart in their own right).

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The USA remains the clear epicentre of the outbreak with about 973,000 infections, which is more than the next five worst-hit countries combined.

Spain has the second-most cases - with roughly 230,000 - followed by Italy, France, Germany and then the UK.

However, outside of the US, Italy has the highest number of deaths - with just short of 27,000 fatalities - followed by Spain, France and the UK who have all recorded more than 20,000.

On Monday, Russia's total number of infections - 87,147 - surpassed China by about 4,000 following a daily rise of 6,200.

Italy has also become the first European Union country to apply for financial aid from an €800 million fund set up by the bloc to tackle the crisis.

The country, along with Spain and France, appears to be past the peak of coronavirus cases, while the UK's trend is a little less clear.

Each country records and tracks both infections and fatalities differently, meaning the total number of cases and deaths are likely higher than official figures suggest.

For example, in the UK, the number of people to die outside hospital environments - e.g. in care homes or at private residences - is not included in the official daily figure released by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Meanwhile, some countries have begun preparations for easing lockdown measures implemented to combat the disease.

In the US, states including Alaska, Georgia and Oklahoma, which have not been hit as hard by the virus, are beginning to allow certain businesses to reopen.

However, others that have struggled to keep a lid on the disease, such as New York and Michigan, are keeping stay-at-home restrictions in place until at least mid-May.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is also preparing to relax strict lockdown measures that were put in place long before the virus could cause widespread community transmission.

From midnight on Monday, certain businesses such as construction will be allowed to reopen, but social distancing rules will still apply.

In Europe, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have begun constructing timetables for life returning to normality, along with Australia and Thailand.

Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, India and South Korea have also started reopening their economies and societies.

Conversely, Japan and Pakistan have both stepped up restrictions on people from other countries entering their borders.