Coronavirus Update: Map Shows More Than 73,000 Confirmed Cases in 25 Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Tuesday that more than 73,000 people in 25 countries have become infected with the new coronavirus.

Daily increases of about 2,000 cases have largely been the norm for the new coronavirus, named COVID-19, but on Monday the WHO reported a massive spike of nearly 20,000 cases. This was predominantly attributed to the WHO including clinically diagnosed cases in China's Hubei province, where the outbreak originated, in the total case count for the first time since the U.N. agency began issuing daily updates in January.

China started reporting clinically diagnosed cases—those that are confirmed by a doctor and not a laboratory test—to the WHO on Thursday. The initial case count was 13,332, but that number rose on Tuesday. However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus didn't share specific data about how many of the 1,800 new cases were clinical diagnoses.

Clinically diagnosed cases are confined to China, where the vast majority of all confirmed cases have been identified. Of the 73,332 total cases, 72,528 involved people in China, where 1,850 people have died from the virus. In addition to the lives lost in China, France, the Philippines and Japan have each reported one death.

Newsweek subscription offers >

coronavirus update map cases deaths
A map created by Johns Hopkins University shows where COVID-19 cases were identified as of Tuesday morning. Center for Systems Science and Engineering CSSE at Johns Hopkins University

Cases outside of China rose to 804, an increase of 110 cases from the day before, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 15 cases of the virus in the United States. That number doesn't include the 14 American passengers who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan.

"The quarantine process failed," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told USA Today. "I'd like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed."

Fauci added that "something went awry in the process," but admitted that he wasn't sure what went wrong.

Newsweek subscription offers >

The University of Nebraska Medical Center confirmed that 13 additional passengers from the cruise ship arrived at the Omaha hospital for "further monitoring, testing and treatment if needed." Although the WHO is including clinically diagnosed cases in its case count, the CDC is considering a case to be confirmed only if lab results are positive.

COVID-19 was first identified in humans in December and resembles severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2002 and 2003, the SARS virus, also of Chinese origin, sickened 8,098 people worldwide, including eight people in the U.S. The current COVID-19 outbreak is nearly nine times as large as the SARS outbreak but is far less deadly.

In contrast to the SARS mortality rate of about 10 percent, COVID-19's current mortality rate is about 2 percent.

Ghebreyesus said during Tuesday's press conference that there wasn't enough data from countries outside of China to draw comparisons between COVID-19 and other viruses. When pushed as to why the WHO didn't have the necessary information, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said it wasn't due to a lack of transparency but was caused by countries prioritizing dealing with the current "public health challenge" and difficulties gathering and collecting data, including privacy laws.

He urged countries to both "speed up" their collection and sharing of "core data" and implement public health measures that are "well thought out" and pay "due respect" for people's individual liberties and rights.

"There's an awful lot at stake here in terms of public health, not just to people in China but of all people in the world," Ryan said.

Coronavirus Update: Map Shows More Than 73,000 Confirmed Cases in 25 Countries | U.S.