While in the US, politicians point fingers at President Trump, the entire world is also struggling against skyrocketing numbers of new coronavirus cases as nations around the globe battle to stave off a second wave of COVID-19.
New milestones have been set and surpassed as the number of coronavirus infections around the world have reached 40,375,339, with 1,119,589 deaths, as of early Monday, October 19, 2020, according to the latest numbers recorded at worldometers.info. There were 9,097,163 currently active infections of COVID-19 and, of those, 72,058 were critical or serious.
On Sunday, India had the highest number of infections in the world with 55,551 new cases and 578 new deaths. They were followed by the United States with 44,941 new cases and 448 deaths and by France with 29,837 cases and 85 deaths, then by the UK with 16,982 cases and 67 deaths. Russia also had 15,099 new cases, with 185 deaths.
Mexico suffered the third-highest amount of deaths with 355, followed by Iran at 252 and Brazil at 215.
In recent weeks, a surge in Europe is driving the numbers higher in what many believe is a second wave of COVID-19. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe was responsible for about a third of the global cases, with some regions experiencing more intense outbreaks than had occurred in spring.
Countries across Europe are enacting stricter measures to try to counter a looming second wave of infections. Measures include initiating curfews, mask requirements, closing restaurants and bars, as well as increasing testing and implementing contact tracing.
As high as the latest numbers are, experts say the actual tally of COVID-19 cases around the world is likely to be far higher, WishTV 8 reported. This also applies to the number of deaths. There are several reasons for this.
First, testing has been variable, while many people are infected but demonstrate no outward symptoms. Secondly, some governments are concealing the true numbers their nations are experiencing.
The WHO expressed concerns that, if the virus is not slowed, several European cities could see their intensive care units overwhelmed.
According to previous estimates by the WHO, about 1 out of 10 of the world’s population has been infected with COVID-19. This estimate is roughly 20 times higher than the official number of cases and, if accurate, would represent about 780 million people – far higher than the current number of over 40 million.
The experts don’t seem to agree on what will eventually bring the pandemic to an end.
Some researchers believe allowing COVID-19 to spread among those who are less vulnerable will build up herd immunity and stop the pandemic. They also believe this is a better method than strict lockdowns which are devastating economies around the world.
But the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, does not believe herd immunity is a viable strategy. He believes that deliberately exposing people to a potentially fatal disease is dangerous, and that vaccination is the only correct course.
“Allowing a dangerous virus that we don’t fully understand to run free is simply unethical,” Tedros said.