At least 166 countries have at least one confirmed case of the insidious virus that occurred in the Chinese city of Wuhan just three months ago.
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China still holds the majority of confirmed cases, which are over 81,054 at lunchtime. But Italy has taken its coat as the epicenter of the pandemic and has the highest number of fatalities, with 5,476 deaths.
In the past week, the United States has recorded 33,546 cases and 419 deaths in all 50 states. Spain is another emerging virus hotspot with 28,603 cases and 1,756 deaths.
The pandemic has now extended its tentacles to Africa, where there are serious concerns about how it will affect nations with unstable governments, underdeveloped health systems and existing humanitarian crises.
There have been more than 1000 cases across Africa where the virus has reached 40 out of 54 countries. South Africa has the most cases in sub-Saharan Africa (274), followed by Burkina Faso, a particularly impoverished West African nation in which a large number of government ministers are among the infected. Burkina Faso has 75 cases today.
North Korea claims to have no contagion cases, which is dubious given its close cultural and travel-related ties to China and its only other country neighbor, South Korea, with nearly 9,000 cases and 102 deaths.
North Korea observers told Al Jazeera You have heard of those within the Rouge nation that they are secretly fighting an outbreak.
“I spoke directly to people in North Korea and heard that North Korea declared a state of emergency,” said Seo Jae-pyoung, an activist and defector from North Korea.
“I heard that the first case in North Korea was confirmed on January 27th, and that the People’s Army blocked roads and railroads in provincial towns and that people were not even able to walk on the streets.”
In another example of these extraordinary times, US President Donald Trump confirmed that he wrote to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and offered to help with any “anti-epidemic work”.
Laos is another country that claims to have never had a case, which is unlikely to be a country that borders China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam and where the state media are tightly controlled.
Myanmar, which also borders China, also claims to be virus-free – despite reports, Singapore reports that at least four patients with coronavirus-related symptoms have died in quarantine Strait Times.
It is only a matter of time for other countries to get onto this most undesirable scoreboard.
Yemen, which has already been hit by war and hunger, is preparing for the outbreak to reach its limits.
As the virus spreads across Africa, the panic war has begun in war-torn Libya and the United Nations-backed government has introduced a curfew that has not yet confirmed a case. The virus has already hit all six countries with which Libya shares a border.
In the meantime, a 20-year-old woman has been confirmed as the first case in war-torn Syria, another struggling country that is feared that the pandemic could trigger a humanitarian disaster.