Over 1.5 Million Coronavirus Cases Confirmed Worldwide, Nearly Tripling in Two Weeks

The novel coronavirus has spread to more than 1.5 million across at least 184 countries and regions, with the U.S. reporting the most confirmed cases in the world, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed infections around the world has nearly tripled from almost two weeks ago, when half a million global cases were reported.

Over 339,000 people have recovered from the infection, while more than 89,000 have died after contracting the virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China. The country has seen over 82,800 confirmed cases to date.

Wuhan lifted its outbound travel restrictions for the first time this week following a strict two-month lockdown. More infections are now reported outside China than within and the outbreak appears to have largely been contained in the country. But it has been gaining ground outside China, including in the U.S., Italy and Spain.

The U.S. has recorded over 432,000 confirmed cases, including over 14,000 deaths, while more than 24,000 have reportedly recovered, as of Thursday. The official figure for the number of recoveries in the U.S. has yet to be released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Speaking to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the CDC previously said it does not "have the current numbers for recovered patients at this time, and CDC has not included this data in our ongoing case counts as of yet" but the CDC "may put it [the data on recoveries] together in the future."

New York is the country's worst-hit state, with at least 149,000 infections and 6,200 fatalities. The state recorded its highest daily death toll of 779 on Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed at a press conference on Wednesday.

Spain has the second largest number of cases, with more than 1452,000 confirmed infections, overtaking that of Italy, which has seen over 139,000 cases, as of Wednesday.

Both Spain and Italy saw a recent flattening of the curve of the outbreak, with the number of new cases reported to be on a slightly declining trend.

India coronavirus lockdown, crowds, buses March 2020
Indian migrant workers and laborers en route to their native villages on March 29, 2020 in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts New Delhi, India, following a nationwide lockdown due the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises. Getty Images

Both European nations are also among the countries with the highest number of recoveries. At least 52,000 people in Spain and at least 26,400 in Italy were reported to have recovered from infection, as of Wednesday.

Other countries reporting the largest number of cases outside China include Germany (at least 113,200 cases), France (at least 83,000 cases) and Iran (at least 64,500 cases).

Earlier this week, cases of the virus in Iran were said to be "flattening off," according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Due to an impressive scaling up of many of the control measures, we have seen a flattening off of the number of cases in Iran and in fact, some suggestion, in recent days of perhaps a decline in the number of new cases," the Acting Regional Emergency Director for the WHO East Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO), Richard Brennan, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

But earlier this week, a member of Iran's national COVID-19 task force, Hamid Souri, claimed around half a million people in Iran are infected, he told IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) on Monday.

"The current estimate is that about 500,000 people in the country are infected with the coronavirus," Souri said, adding that this was not exact "as asymptomatic patients have not been identified."

Referring to rising numbers of cases in several provinces and the capital Tehran, Souri said, "The coronavirus curve has not flattened anywhere in the country," Al Arabiya reported.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the globe.

coronavirus, map, covid-19, countries, world
A graphic provided by Statista shows the global spread of the new coronavirus across the globe. Statista

Top 10 countries with most confirmed COVID-19 cases

(as of April 9)

  1. U.S.—at least 432,000
  2. Spain—at least 148,000
  3. Italy—at least 139,000
  4. Germany—at least 113,000
  5. France—at least 83,000
  6. China—at least 82,000
  7. Iran—at least 64,000
  8. U.K—at least 61,000
  9. Turkey—at least 38,000
  10. Belgium—at least 23,000

Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.