1 Million

A woman mourns as she waits for a relative's corpse outside a hospital. Guayaquil, Ecuador, April 1, 2020. Image: Enrique Ortiz/AFP/Getty
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A woman mourns as she waits for a relative's corpse outside a hospital. Guayaquil, Ecuador, April 1, 2020. Image: Enrique Ortiz/AFP/Getty

Global case counts of COVID-19 quietly clicked past 1 million yesterday afternoon on the Johns Hopkins tracking map, revealing the disease’s startling speed and reach since it emerged 4 months ago.  

The pandemic is afflicting countries unevenly as the US muffed its early response, while China acted with strong-armed efficiency, and many others are yet to be tested.

Global Highlights

The US: Though the novel coronavirus has emerged in all 50 states, the media focus has zeroed in on New York, which has more than 92,000 cases. That will likely change in the coming days as new hotspots emerge, according to Scientific American.

The American South is at special risk with high numbers of cases per capita. Albany, Georgia has 13 per 10,000 people, for example. And, as  Bloomberg News points out, the region already has some of the poorest health indicators in the country (4 of 5 states with highest diabetes rates) and a lack of health care access that includes shuttered rural hospitals. Of the 239 coronavirus deaths in New Orleans, “40% had diabetes, 25% were obese and 21% had heart problems,” Bloomberg reports.
Africa: WHO has announced that new COVID-19 cases are being reported in Africa at a dramatically accelerating pace as the number topped this week, according to The Citizen (Tanzania). Another worrying sign: Cases are beginning to emerge outside capitals and other large cities. The coronavirus has been detected across South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Senegal.

Also: Very few of the more than 300 clinical trials that are underway to seek a COVID-19 treatment are in Africa, Nature reports. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative is part of the new COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition seeking to remedy this.


South Africa: Though the country has the most cases (1,462) on the continent, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are being lauded for leading an effective and efficient battle against COVID-19, according to theBBC. However, the response also has included rounding up 1,000 homeless men and forcing them into a sports stadium in Pretoria, CNN International reports.  

Ecuador: Officials in Guayaquil report more than 400 deaths in recent days as morgues have been overwhelmed and some bodies have been wrapped in plastic and left on street. UPI
Indonesia: The 170 COVID-19 deaths reported in recent weeks have surpassed nearly 2 decades of bird flu deaths. The Jakarta Post
North Korea: Assertions that the country is coronavirus-free has been viewed skeptically. The Guardian 

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