As confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded half a million across the world, the death toll has climbed past 25, 000, data from worldometers.info has shown.
This means the crisis has reached historic proportions, especially for the U.S which has become the country most ravaged by the contagion.
Confirmed cases were 566,064 and 25, 401 deaths on Friday evening, according to worldometer, a platform that provides live updates on the coronavirus globally.
Meanwhile, almost 300, 000 people have recovered from the virus worldwide, following treatments, the public health tracker found.
With 93,151 confirmed cases, the U.S is now the epicentre of the pandemic, surpassing China, where the virus broke out last December. China now has 81, 340 cases while Italy is third with over 80, 000 cases as at the time of reporting.
Of the 25,422 deaths so far recorded from the outbreak, Italy still has the highest – 8, 215, a development experts attributed to the country’s high number of aged people. 3, 292 deaths have been recorded in China, while the U.S came has 1, 382 deaths.
PREMIUM TIMES monitored the worldometer platform and noticed a spike in the number of cases. In about 20 minutes Friday evening, more than 10, 000 cases were reported live on the platform, showing an explosion of the virus around the globe. This time last month, there were only 82,700 confirmed global cases— and a month before that, just under 3,000 people had tested positive.
It was, however, unclear how many people have actually been infected, as many countries continue to report inadequate testing kits.
Medical experts and scientists have also warned that the virus’ worst is yet to come, urging countries to brace for more infections in the coming weeks.
Countries have raced to enforce containment policies within their boundaries. The United States and European countries are on complete national lockdowns while ‘social distancing’ is being strictly enforced.
Although Africa has not been racked by the virus-like other parts of the world in both economic and human toll, the continent has also begun seeing a worrisome uptick in reported cases.
Nigeria has 65 cases as of Friday evening, up from nine days ago when only five people had tested positive. Only one has died of the virus in Nigeria, where reported cases are lower in comparison to South Africa with almost a thousand confirmed cases and two deaths, the continent’s hardest-hit.
About 45 of Africa’s 54 countries now have confirmed cases as governments across the continent rush to contain the spread of the disease, knowing that their fragile health systems will be swiftly overwhelmed if the disease spreads beyond a small number of cases.
Social distancing and complete lockdown measures are not just difficult to maintain in the continent, it has bared deep cracks of inequality.
Slums and informal settlements which are also part of the physical infrastructures of many African cities are mostly overcrowded and lack services even before the threat of a global health crisis emerged.