In just 100 hours, world added 1 million coronavirus cases
A respite for the world battling the coronavirus pandemic, looks far-fetched, considering how easily the disease is spreading. As per Friday's tally, studied by Reuters, one million coronavirus cases were added across the world in merely 100 hours. To give a perspective, after the first case was detected in China, it took three months for infections to reach the one-million mark. Here's more.
According to data, the world currently has 14,189,223 coronavirus cases, with 599,341 losing their lives to the deadly disease. The virus' origins have been traced to a wet market at China's Hubei province, from where it traveled to almost all countries, ripping economies apart, and killing people. Europe was among the first places to be battered by the virus, the US became the next.
The United States is the worst-affected country, followed by Brazil and India. With 3,770,012 infections, the US has lost 142,064 people to the virus. On Thursday, the country recorded yet another huge spike with over 77,000 new cases being reported. Sweden has recorded 77,281 total cases till now! Despite the worrying numbers, the US can't seem to make up its mind over masks.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has been pushing for the economy to re-open and wants schools to resume operations. This month, his administration signed a directive underlining that students, whose classes had moved online, should leave the US. After top universities like Harvard and MIT challenged the order in court, it was rolled back. Notably, schools have made elaborate plans to avoid in-person training.
Next on the list of worst-affected nations is Brazil, where coronavirus has killed 77,932 and infected 2,048,697. The healthcare infrastructure is overwhelmed. Some officials told AlJazeera that there are days when all the ICU beds are occupied, forcing some patients to wait for ten days for a "vacancy." President Jair Bolsonaro, who faced severe backlash for downplaying the disease's seriousness, tested positive for a second time on Wednesday.
India is the third worst-hit nation with over 30,000 new infections being reported on a daily basis recently. In the last 24 hours, 34,884 new cases were recorded and 671 died. The infections' tally stands at 1,038,716, including 358,692 active cases, the Health Ministry said earlier today. 653,751 have been cured, the government added. Further, 26,273 have lost their lives to the virus.
Amid the distressing headlines, a development at Oxford University raises hopes. The COVID-19 vaccine, being developed in partnership with AstraZeneca, has generated an immune response against the infection in humans, reports said. People in the know said the potential vaccine works and offers "double defense" against the disease. If things go well, the vaccine will be available by September-end or October.