Rising covid-19 cases
The COVID-19 infection numbers published by the WHO only reflect those who tested positive. With little, or next-to-nothing testing in developing countries, they're likely to be "the tip of the iceberg". Image Credit: Gulf News

DUBAI: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a record spike in COVID-19 cases over a 24-hour period. The new daily record is 212,326 on Sunday (July 5, 2020). The previous daily record for new cases was 189,077, on June 2.

These numbers are the confirmed ones. WHO gathers the daiy number from its country offices, based on official health ministry report. Therefore, they only reflect those who tested positive. With little or next to nothing testing in many of the underdeveloped countries, these numbers are likely to be "the tip of the iceberg", say officials.

Is there still a way to slow the spread of infections?

Yes, said David Nabarro, WHO special envoy for COVID-19. But now, more than ever, curbing new infections can only happen with “urgent international support”.

Nabarro said COVID-19 has become "a disease of poor people". "I don't like giving a depressing message," he told a WHO press conference, "but I am worried about supplies and finance getting through to those who need them."

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Where it's rising

Many countries in western Europe (Spain and Italy) and Asia (Vietnam, Thailand) have managed to control the virus, but other regions are now seeing the disease accelerating its spread. The biggest surge in numbers were reported in the US, Brazil and India.

Experts say this is not a "second wave" of infections. Rather, they explain it's a resurgence of the disease, often in places that decided to relax their lockdown restrictions.

Here’s the COVID-19 cases landscape, so far:

US: Rising

The US has recorded the most infections and most deaths from COVID-19. The US has reached 2.98 million cases on of July 6, according to Worldometers.info, with 132,571 deaths.

This week, the country saw a greater surge in numbers. This may be attributed to extensive tests: nearly 38 million tests had been conducted in the US, or 113,603 per 1 million population.

The number of positive tests recorded in the past few days has reached a daily record total of 55,000 on July 2, and it's still climbing, with a spike of clusters in Arizona, Texas and Florida.

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Image Credit: Gulf News / WHO

Brazil: Rising

Brazil is also facing a huge spike in cases. It’s the second country after the US to pass 1m cases. It just reached 16. million cases, with 64,900 deaths so far. Its biggest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are the hardest hit. Other Brazilian states are doing little testing, with real numbers bound to be far higher.

WHO's Nabarro said said poor, crowded dwellings in developing countries — whole families crammed into single-room homes, and where social distancing is impossible — are sitting ducks for COVID-19 infection. Without running water, regular hand-washing isn't easy. And for daily wage earners, interactions on streets and in markets are unavoidable. Moreover, in indigenous groups in the Amazon rainforest and other remote areas, healthcare can be limited or even non-existent.

India: Rising

On July 6, India clocked its biggest number of new cases — 24,850 — with 613 deaths in 24 hours

There are nearly 700,000 confirmed cases, a number expected to be higher across a vast nation, where tests are uneven, or virtually non-existent. There had been 19,693 deaths reported on Monday (July 6). In the tier-1 cities and most heavily populated states, the true scale of the crisis is inevitably larger. India has overtaken Russia as the third-largest in the world in terms of coronavirus infections.

A lack of testing and external factors preventing social distancing among its of 1.3 billion inhabitants are seen as culprits. Some cities are preparing to impose lockdowns again.

Iran: Rising

Iran’s coronavirus numbers peaked initially at 3,186 on March 30. The daily tally went down to 802 on May 2, then overshot the previous tally to 3,574 on June 4. Iran has recorded 240,000 confirmed cases and 11,571 deaths.

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Image Credit: Gulf News / WHO

Japan: Rising

Japan saw peak coronavirus daily infections at 743 on April 12. The number went down to 20 on May 18 and then rose again to 240 on July 5. Total confirmed cases in Japan stood at 20,748 (including 712 from Diamond Princess cruise ship, 149 from Costa Atlantica, and 14 from government-chartered flights).

Japan has reported 977 coronavirus deaths so far. The country has done 412,102 tests. Tokyo on Monday reported more 102 coronavirus cases — above 100 for five consecutive days. The Japanese capital has reported 6,867 infections amid concerns over the “second wave” of COVID-19.

Algeria: Rising 

Algeria has recorded 16,404 confirmed cases and 959 deaths. On June 17, a health official predicted the country's COVID-19 infections will go on a downward trend. "Starting from next month Algerians will be able to coexist normally with the COVID-19 just like any other viruses such as seasonal flu," Kamal Sanhadji, Head of the Algerian Health Security Agency, was quoted as saying by the state run radio Channel III on June 17. The previous peak was on May 25, with 197 cases. On July 5, the north African country recorded the highest single-day jump in cases to 441.

Philippines: Rising

The Asian country has recorded 2,424 cases on July 5, an all-time-high single-day jump in COVID-19 infections. That's a grim doubling from the previous high, recorded on June 23 at 1,143 cases. The country has clocked 46,333 coronavirus cases, with 1,303 deaths. Lockdown measures were implemented for three months, and has worked for the most part. But this bled the economy and led to at least 3,000 companies reportedly going under. President Rodrigo Duterte has cursed the virus and doled out cash to the poor, under the "Social Amelioration Program". The country has reimposed local lockdowns, such as in the central city of Cebu, due to a spike in cases. The surge in cases has been blamed on the recent lifting of lockdowns, and flouting of social distancing rules.

Where cases are falling

UK: Falling

Across the country, the number of newly confirmed cases each day has been falling since the peak on April 12, with 8,719 reported infections during a 24-hour period. Altogether, there have been nearly 285,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with over 44,220 deaths, government figures show. These numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is likely to be higher. New cases have decline, to 624 new cases as of July 5.

Image Credit: WHO

There are concern over rising “hotspots” as the virus is seen spreading more quickly in some areas than others. The spike is attributed to an outbreak at a local meat processing plant. The government announced it was re-imposing lockdown measures in Leicester last week, after a jump in cases. Figures released on Thursday showed Leicester still had the highest infection rate in England — with 141 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 28 June.

South Korea: Falling

South Korea is one of the first countries that recorded coronavirus cases outside China. It has pioneered drive-through COVID-19 test and has been lauded for as a tech-savvy country. It was also cited efficient contact tracing to drive down infections to extremely low numbers. Last week, had three days in a row with no new cases. On Sunday, the Korea CDC said it has confirmed 61 new cases, bringing national totals to 13,091. It says the death toll remains the same at 283.

Total confirmed infections reached 688,000, with 10,296 deaths and 454,000 recoveries in Russia as of July 5. COVID-19 cases in the country peaked at 11,656 within 24 hours, recorded on May 11.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Russia has been dropping over the last few weeks, from daily growth of 8,726 on June 5 to 6,736 reported on Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country managed to make the outbreak "recede" and "reach a turning point". But he also warned the citizens "to remain focused, careful, and alert, especially until the mass production of an effective preventive medicine begins".

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To date, there are 11,302 hospitalised COVID-19 patients, of which 1,227 are in the ICU with mechanical ventilation. More than half the cases are reported in Lima (165,307).

Spain: Falling

Spain was among the first European countries to be hit early and hard by the coronavirus. In total, 251,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Spain, around half of whom (125,484) have been hospitalized, with 28,385 deaths. On March 26, Spain reported 9,159 cases in a single day. This has dropped to 442 on July 2.

The country has recorded more than a quarter of a million cases (251,000) and at least 28,385 deaths. However, for most of the past three weeks, daily deaths have been in the single figures.

Spain has been reopening its borders to other EU states, as well as the UK, in anticipation of summer holiday traffic. However, Spain has imposed local lockdowns in certain areas. This week, some 70,000 people in Spain's northwestern Galicia region have been given new stay-at-home orders following a surge in cases.

Italy: Falling

The pandemic began in Italy on February 21 in the northern, densely-populated and highly industrialised Lombardy region, whose capital is Milan.

On March 21, Italy reported 6,557 cases, the highest single-day number of infections. On July 5, that figure has been down to 192, compared to 235 on Saturday (July 4) and 178 on June 2, according to Health Ministry figures. The Lombardy region, of which the capital is Milan, still has the lion's share of cases.

Thailand: Falling

Thailand's cases peaked on March 23, with 310 coronavirus cases. The number has progressively come down, with just 5 cases on July 5. The country has 3,195 confirmed cases with a total of 58 deaths.

Peru: Falling

In mid-March, in the first weeks of the quarantine in Peru to combat COVID-19, the police stations were filled with citizens detained for failing to comply with lockdown orders. The daily numbers peaked on May 31, with 8,805 cases, and has since gone down to 3,638, as Sunday, July 5, 2020. The Ministry of Health reported that the case count has topped 302,718 positive out of 1.78 million people tested, with 10,589 deaths. Of the total deaths reported, 223 were policemen who died from COVID-19 in 100 days of state of emergency.

France: Falling

France's daily coronavirus cases peaked at 4,335 on March 31, from just 43 cases recorded on March 1. Total confirmed cases so far have reached 167,000 wiuth 29,893 deaths. Progressively lower highs were recorded from April to June. It has since gone down to 448 cases on July 4, and zeron on July 5. 

Canada: Falling

Canada has 106,000 coronavirus cases as of July 5, with 8,687 deaths. The numbers peaked on May 3, with 2,760 cases that day. Quebec had the lion's share, with 55,937 cases; Ontario recorded 35,794 infections, with the capital Toronto alone recording 14,260. The country managed to progressively curb infections with 219 cases recorded on July 5.

New Zealand: Falling

New Zealand has 1,533 confirmed cases and just 32 deaths. Cases peaked on April 5, with 89 infections were recorded. Under the "Be Kind" nationwide push against covid-19, Kiwis seem to be winning the fight -- with simple messaging, strong spirit of community to "crush the curve". On July 5, the country recorded only 3 new cases, after keeping it at zero for many weeks.