A New COVID Wave

Posted by on Nov 10, 2020 in Current Events, World

The news has been closely focused in the United States on the 2020 presidential election. But the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on, and in many places, rates of infection are higher than ever before. In fact, since July, the worldwide number of new daily cases has been roughly 200,000 per day. On September 28, the global tally reached one million deaths from the disease. (These are just the recorded cases. It’s estimated that the actual number of deaths is much higher.) Here, btw looks at trends in a few parts of the world.

Leading the World

The country with the most coronavirus cases remains the United States, with more than 9.8 million cases reported so far. The U.S. numbers keep trending up, with new infection records set frequently. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that by November 28, there will be an additional 5,000 to 11,000 deaths from the disease in the U.S. While initial infection rates were concentrated at the coasts (New York City and the West Coast were both hard-hit last Spring in the first months of the pandemic), now the highest rates are in Western and Midwestern states. In Iowa, for example, 3,401 new cases have been reported daily–an increase of 167 percent. And South Dakota leads the nation in the rate of infection, with 174 new cases per 100,000 people. North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska are also seeing large increases.

Un-flattening the Curve

But the United States is not the only country where coronavirus cases are on the rise. In fact, several nations once thought to have controlled the outbreak are experiencing an increasing number of cases again. France has now reported over 1.6 million cases with nearly 40,000 deaths, and Spain is just behind, with 1.3 million cases and almost 39,000 deaths.

This pattern is true in many other places around the world as well. India and Israel both saw an early spike in the summer, followed by a lull, and are now spiking again. India, in fact, is just behind the United States in total number of cases–8.5 million–with more than 237,000 deaths reported.

What About Africa?

For a long time, the rate of infection on the African continent remained steady and very low compared to the rest of the world. This was due to a fast response time, widespread public support for safety measures, a younger population, a more favorable climate, and good community health systems already in place. However, in recent weeks, infection rates have begun to spike there as well, though they remain far lower than in the rest of the world. Now, South Africa has the highest number of recorded cases on the continent, with over 700,000.

Dig Deeper Visit this NPR Web page to view a state-by-state breakdown of coronavirus cases. How many new cases have been reported in your state? What is the per capita rate of infection? Do you think your state could be doing more to slow the spread of the disease? Explain.