|Staff Reporter |||Apr 16, 2020 06:51 PM EDT|
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The novel coronavirus that started ravaging the world in early December has now infected 1,920,985 million people globally as of Monday night. The total number of deaths worldwide is 119,686.
The number of confirmed cases could reach 2 million anytime this week. Of the total number of confirmed cases, the United States accounted for 582,580. The numbers are based on a real-time tracker from Johns Hopkins University.
With the number of confirmed infections continue to grow, the World Health Organization said Monday countries should observe caution when lifting lockdowns and other measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted that while COVID-19 accelerates very fast, its deceleration proved to be extremely slow. Furthermore, the only thing certain about the virus at this point is that it spreads fast and it is deadly, 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic.
Ghebreyesus said nationwide lockdowns and other restrictions should only be lifted entirely if right public health measures are observed and if a nation conducted extreme contact tracing.
There is a lot that has yet to be known about this virus. Take for example South Korea and China. Just when both countries thought they have outwitted the virus, both countries now have to face resurgence or the second wave.
Most recently in South Korea, at least 116 people who were treated and recovered for the virus have tested positive again. Health experts are having different conclusions regarding the trend.
One is that these people are not re-infected. Instead, the virus may have the capacity to stay in people's systems longer even with symptoms gone. Second is that the 116 people may be cases of false negatives. The problem is that cases of being positive of the virus for the 2nd time have more than doubled this week. South Korea only reported 51 people testing positive again last week.
Meanwhile, as more countries are seemingly flattening the curve, there are those that are late into the equation. Many low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are only starting to see spike in the number of infections.
In these countries where the number of poor populations remains larger, lockdown measures can paralyze the economy more or worsen the spread of the virus. For instance, many of the poorest populations are living in crowded space that self-quarantine are ineffective. Also, health systems in such underdeveloped nations are the most unstable and could easily be overwhelmed. In some Asian countries, reports abound of people being left without food amid lockdown.
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