The Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak which started from China is now in 50 countries and things seem to be getting worse.
So far, the number of people killed worldwide by the coronavirus has exceeded 3,000.
As of Monday, almost 90,000 confirmed cases have been reported globally, with the numbers outside China growing faster than inside China.
The disease had spread across China with the Asian country reporting the highest number of cases from the outbreak.
However, things began to change in the last two weeks as cases slowed down in China and started rising in other parts of the world.
China on Monday reported 42 more deaths. Currently, more than 90 per cent of the total deaths are in Hubei, the Chinese province where the virus emerged late last year.
Outside China, new hotspots for the disease are beginning to emerge and travellers from these countries have exported the disease to over 25 countries within two weeks.
The new countries emerging as the hotspots are Italy, Iran and South Korea.
In South Korea, the virus is being spread internally and as of Monday, 476 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 4,212. The youngest patient there is a 45-day-old baby.
South Korea is the biggest hotspot outside China and has reported 26 deaths.
However, the cases in Iran and Italy differ as the disease is not just being spread within its borders, but has also been exported to other parts of the world including Nigeria.
Nigeria on Friday announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 which was detected in a 44 years old Italian who had flown into the country on Monday.
Although that is the only confirmed case in Nigeria for now, contract tracing has been intensified by the government to quarantine those who had been in contact with the Italian.
There has also been cases of second time infections by some of the patients who had earlier recovered from the disease.
Countries like Japan, China reported cases of people who had once been tested positive, treated and discharged, coming down again with the disease.
As the disease pattern is still unknown, there is no explanation yet for second-time infection.
Meanwhile, Iran has reported over 50 deaths while more than 30 have died in Italy.
Eight other countries have also reported at least one death from coronavirus. The U.S. on Sunday reported the second death from the coronavirus outbreak and President Donald Trump has warned Americans that more cases are “likely” to be reported.
The United States has 89 confirmed cases — including 44 evacuated passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three repatriated from Wuhan, 38 cases that were detected and tested on US soil and four cases “presumed positive.”
The World Health Organisation said on Sunday that the death rate appears to be between 2 per cent and 5 per cent. In comparison, the seasonal flu has an average mortality rate of about 0.1 per cent.
The UN health agency said most Covid-19 patients have only mild symptoms.
It said the seasonal flu is highly infectious – with up to 400,000 people dying from it each year.
“Other strains of coronavirus, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), have much higher death rates than Covid-19,” it said.
While the world health body is yet to admit that the disease should be declared as pandemic, the WHO chief on Thursday said the Covid-19 outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential”.
Tedros Ghebreyesus said no country should assume it won’t get case.
“This virus does not respect borders. It does not distinguish between races or ethnicities. It has no regard for a country’s GDP or level of development.
“It is what is happening around the world that is now our greatest concern.We are at a decisive point,” he said.
He advised countries with new and lesser cases to act aggressively so that they can contain the virus.
“You can prevent people getting sick. You can save lives. So my advice to these countries is to move swiftly,” he said.