U.S. Records More COVID Infections in a Single Day than Japan Has Throughout Entire Pandemic

The U.S. hit another grim COVID-19 milestone on Friday with more than 200,000 new cases reported in a day, which is more than the total cases reported in Japan to date, one of Asia's worst-affected countries.

The U.S. recorded 205,557 infections on November 27, while Japan's total case count on the same day was reported to be 142,778. As of Monday, Japan currently has 148,128 total confirmed cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The current population of the U.S. (328,239,523) is more than double that of Japan (126,264,931), as of 2019, according to the latest data from The World Bank.

The U.S. was reported to have 39,092.33 total cases per million people, while Japan has 1,143.71 total cases per million, according to the latest report Sunday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, it should be noted that, as of Friday, less than three percent of people in Japan have been tested for the virus.

As of November 27, in Japan 3,418,520 (around 2.7 percent of the country's total population) people have taken a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) virus test, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

It should be noted the ministry changed the information they provide starting from May 8. The figures are now based on the data published by municipalities instead of the data reported directly to the ministry. The actual number of the conducted tests might be smaller due to the method of adding up.

As of November 30, in the U.S. 191,149,006 total test results were reported, according to JHU, which marks around 58 percent of the country's total population.

The seven-day average of cases in the U.S. has been rising sharply since early October and hit a peak on the day before Thanksgiving, when it reached 179,923 on November 25, according to data compiled by Worldometer.

The weekly total of confirmed cases in the U.S. has been rising consistently since the week commencing October 5. The weekly total increased by as much as 46.8 percent in the week commencing November 9 from the previous week, according to data compiled by WHO.

The latest daily case tally was reported to be 138,903 on Sunday, according to JHU. The figure is projected to reach around 493,191 on Monday and around 833,165 by Christmas, with "continued easing of social distancing mandates and if mandates are not reimposed," according to the latest projection from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

According to the forecasts of new reported COVID-19 cases over the next four weeks received by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 25 modeling groups, "1,100,000 to 2,500,000 new cases will likely be reported [in the U.S.] during the week ending December 19, 2020.

"Over the last several weeks, more reported cases than expected have fallen outside of the forecasted prediction intervals. This suggests that current forecast prediction intervals may not reflect the full range of future reported case numbers," the CDC noted on November 25.

Hospitalizations continue to rise across the country, with 93,219 current COVID-19 hospitalizations reported Sunday, according to data compiled by The Atlantic's The COVID Tracking Project.

The CDC noted November 25: "For December 21, the forecasts estimate 6,700 to 30,000 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per day," according to the latest forecasts of daily new reported COVID-19 hospitalizations over the next four weeks received by the CDC from 12 modeling groups.

"Five national forecasts predict a likely increase in the number of new hospitalizations per day over the next four weeks, one forecast predicts a likely decrease, and two forecasts are uncertain about the trend or predict stable numbers," the CDC noted on November 25.

California COVID-19 testing site November 2020
People waiting in line at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site pn November 24 in San Fernando, California. The U.S. reported over 200,000 new infections in a day on November 27, more than the total cases reported in Japan to date. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 62.8 million people since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.

More than 1.4 million people have died worldwide and more than 40.1 million have recovered as of Monday, according to JHU.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows the spread of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.

U.S. COVID cases

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows the countries with the most COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 spread in the world