The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen and now stands at nearly 2.6 million cases worldwide – up around 600,000 from last week’s total. According to data compiled by John Hopkins University, countries with the largest outbreaks are as follows: the United States (825,306 cases), Spain (208,389), Italy (183,957), France (159,300), Germany (148,704), the United Kingdom (130,184), Turkey (95,591), and Iran (95,591). Over 178,845 deaths have now been recorded worldwide – up 50,000 from last week.
Countries now find themselves at varying points of the epidemic curve. The past week looked encouraging for the United States in terms of daily deaths, which were trending down from April 15, only to spike back upwards on April 21, which saw 2,474 daily deaths to the previous day’s 1,787. Another notable development over the past week is how the issue of lockdowns have been thrust into the country’s polarized political arena, with states beginning to diverge on the ideal timeline for easing lockdown restrictions and small-scale protests popping up across the country. Encouraging trends continue to emerge in Europe, where many of the hardest-hit countries are now well past their peak, with the notable exception of new hotspots like Belarus and Russia. That list of exceptions may also include Turkey. The country could be covering up the true extent of its outbreak according to reporting from the New York Times, which found that daily deaths in Istanbul suggest a far bigger outbreak than the official number of around 95,000 cases would indicate.