Skip to content

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is growing faster than ever

Source: New York Times

The pandemic is ebbing in some of the countries that were hit hard early on, but the number of new cases is growing faster than ever worldwide, with more than 100,000 reported each day.

Twice as many countries have reported a rise in new cases over the past two weeks as have reported declines, according to a New York Times database. On May 30, more new cases were reported in a single day worldwide than ever before: 134,064. The increase has been driven by emerging hot spots in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Over all, there have been more than 6.3 million reported cases worldwide and more than 380,000 known deaths. More than a quarter of all known deaths have been in the United States. But the geography of the pandemic is changing quickly.

The increases in some countries can be attributed to improved testing programs. But in many places, it appears that the virus has only now arrived with a wide scope and fatal force. Here is a look at some of the countries where the number of new cases has been doubling every two to three weeks.

  • The death toll in Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, passed 30,000 on Tuesday, when officials reported 1,262 deaths, which was the nation’s highest one-day total. Brazil now has more than half a million known cases, second only to the United States.
  • Peru has more than 170,000 confirmed cases, despite taking the virus seriously early on. The president, Martín Vizcarra, ordered one of the first national lockdowns in South America. Though the official virus death toll stands at around 5,000, Peru had 14,000 more deaths than usual in May, suggesting that a growing number of people are dying at home as hospitals struggle to handle a flood of cases.
  • The pandemic provoked an exodus from Lima, the capital, as people unable to work fled by bus, and even by foot, to family farms. It is widely expected that the number of new cases and of deaths will continue to rise in coming weeks as winter nears and the economy slowly reopens.
  • For months, Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, seemed to avoid the worst of the pandemic. In early March, Egypt confirmed 45 cases on a Nile tour boat in the area, among both crew and passengers. But recently the number of cases there has been rising significantly, reaching 27,536 on Tuesday.
  • With more than 35,000 confirmed infections, the most in Africa, South Africa still has a growing number of new cases, despite enacting a strict lockdown in March that included a ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol. The prohibition was lifted this month even though the total number of cases continued to rise.
  • Bangladesh now has 55,000 known cases. Its troubles were compounded last month by Cyclone Amphan, a deadly storm that tore through communities under lockdown. And this week, the country reported its first death from Covid-19 in a refugee camp: A 71-year-old Rohingya man who died while receiving treatment in an isolation center.