As of April 2, 2020, there had been cases of the disease in around 203 countries or territories across 6 continents. China was initially the country most impacted by the disease, however the United States, Italy, and Spain now have more cases and deaths than China. As of this time, there had been a total of 936,865 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with 215,344 of these cases found in the United States and 81,554 found in China. Every country in Europe has reported cases with Italy, the hardest hit, the first European country to place all of its citizens on lockdown, restricting travel, closing schools, and closing public spaces and cancelling public events. Spain, Germany, and France have reported the most cases in Europe besides Italy, with these countries and many others also closing schools, canceling public events, closing borders, and encouraging people to work from home. Measures restricting public gatherings have increased in intensity with the United Kingdom telling cafes, pubs and restaurants to close and Germany banning public gatherings of more than two people.
Although the United States restricted travel into the U.S. for all foreign nationals from Europe for 30 days as of March 13 in an early attempt to avoid infections from abroad, the U.S. now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any country worldwide. Every U.S. state has reported cases of COVID-19, with the state of New York accounting for the vast majority of cases. The virus outbreak is now on the minds of many Americans, dominating the media and politics. Survey data shows that concern about the COVID-19 pandemic has increased in the United States, with 32 percent of U.S. adults in January stating they were very concerned about the outbreak and this number rising to 40 percent as of March 16. It is estimated that around 80 percent of the population of the United States is now under a stay-at-home order, with many states closing schools, restaurants and other entertainment venues, canceling public events, and encouranging social distancing. The United States government has been criticized for initially downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic and for its slow response as cases began to rise in the U.S. A recent survey from Statista has found that U.S. adults are less likely to be satisfied with their national government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic than their counterparts in the United Kingdom or Germany.
As of April 2, 2020, there had been a total of 47,264 deaths due to the virus, with Italy reporting the highest number of deaths of any country worldwide, followed by Spain and then the United States. As of March 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) had estimated the crude mortality rate of COVID-19 to be between three and four percent. However, it is now thought that the mortality rate is most likely lower than this estimate, although the true mortality rate is difficult to determine as of this time. Nevertheless, this rate is higher than that of seasonal influenza, usually well below .1 percent, but lower than rates of other recent virus outbreaks. For example, the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), first reported in 2012, has a fatality rate of 34.4 percent, while severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS) has a rate of 9.6 percent.
Multiple organizations around the world are currently working on a vaccine for COVID-19, but it is difficult to tell just how long it will take until one is available to the public. Until then, the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged those living in regions with infections to take basic precautionary measures such as regularly washing hands, covering the mouth and nose with a bent elbow when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding contact with people who may be infected.
Aside from the obvious impacts on human health, the virus outbreak has also impacted international trade, international travel, national and international politics, and has been marked by misinformation and a number of xenophobic and racist attacks against Chinese people and other Asian nationalities. An increasing share of people worldwide believe COVID-19 poses a very high or high level of threat to their country and a growing percentage of people fear the outbreak will personally impact them financially. The impact of the pandemic on the global economy has already begun to show as a rising number of public events and flights have been cancelled, sports leagues postponed, and film release dates pushed back. Nevertheless, the true impact of the pandemic is yet to be seen as case numbers continue to rise around the world.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.