Coronavirus – International Updates

COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus has now been reported in at least 203 countries across the globe. All major countries in every continent have been affected and so far, the virus is still out of control.  The international response has been active in trying to stop the spread of the virus yet the number of infected keeps rising on a daily basis.

So far, the number of deaths by this virus has risen to 50,000 worldwide. China has reported over 81,500 infected while more and more countries have begun large scale lockdowns and critical control measures to control the infection and prevent a global health disaster.

Almost all the cases have had some sort of direct or indirect exposure to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated. In this respect, countries of the world have taken up swift and drastic measures to keep their population safe from infection.

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In this article, we’ll cover the steps taken by the major countries trying to combat this deadly virus.

Countries affected so far on coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus spreads, more and more countries are reporting cases confirmed in their borders. International travel has been a key factor in accelerating the rate at which the virus had spread.

The countries affected so far are:

USA 228,771
Italy 115,242
Spain 110,238
Germany 81,728
China 81,589
France 56,989
Iran 50,468
UK 33,718
Switzerland 18,475
Turkey 18,135
Belgium 15,348
Netherlands 14,697
Austria 11,027
Canada 10,132
S. Korea 9,976
Portugal 9,034
Brazil 7,022
Israel 6,808
Sweden 5,466
Australia 5,137
Norway 5,125
Ireland 3,849
Czechia 3,805
Russia 3,548
Chile 3,404
Denmark 3,386
Ecuador 3,163
Malaysia 3,116
Romania 2,738
Poland 2,692
Philippines 2,633
Luxembourg 2,487
Pakistan 2,386
Japan 2,384
India 2,341
Saudi Arabia 1,885
Thailand 1,875
Indonesia 1,790
Greece 1,544
Finland 1,518
Dominican Republic 1,380
South Africa 1,380
Mexico 1,378
Peru 1,323
Iceland 1,319
Panama 1,317
Serbia 1,171
Argentina 1,133
Colombia 1,065
Singapore 1,049
Croatia 1,011
Algeria 986
Slovenia 897
Estonia 858
Qatar 835
UAE 814
Ukraine 804
Hong Kong 802
New Zealand 797
Egypt 779
Iraq 772
Diamond Princess 712
Morocco 676
Armenia 663
Lithuania 649
Bahrain 635
Hungary 585
Bosnia and Herzegovina 532
Moldova 505
Lebanon 494
Latvia 458
Bulgaria 457
Tunisia 455
Andorra 428
Slovakia 426
Kazakhstan 423
Azerbaijan 400
North Macedonia 384
Costa Rica 375
Cyprus 356
Uruguay 350
Kuwait 342
Taiwan 339
Réunion 308
Belarus 304
Burkina Faso 288
Cameroon 284
Jordan 278
Albania 277
Afghanistan 239
San Marino 236
Cuba 233
Oman 231
Vietnam 227
Honduras 219
Ghana 204
Malta 196
Senegal 195
Channel Islands 193
Uzbekistan 190
Ivory Coast 190
Faeroe Islands 177
Nigeria 174
Mauritius 169
Palestine 160
Sri Lanka 151
Venezuela 144
Montenegro 144
Martinique 135
Brunei 133
Georgia 131
Guadeloupe 125
DRC 123
Bolivia 123
Mayotte 116
Kyrgyzstan 116
Kenya 110
Cambodia 110
Isle of Man 95
Trinidad and Tobago 90
Gibraltar 88
Rwanda 82
Paraguay 77
Liechtenstein 75
Niger 74
Monaco 60
Aruba 60
Madagascar 59
Bangladesh 56
Guinea 52
French Guiana 51
Guatemala 47
Barbados 45
Jamaica 44
Uganda 44
El Salvador 41
Macao 41
Djibouti 40
Zambia 39
French Polynesia 37
Mali 36
Togo 36
Bermuda 32
Ethiopia 29
Congo 22
Cayman Islands 22
Saint Martin 22
Bahamas 21
Myanmar 20
Tanzania 20
Guyana 19
Maldives 19
Gabon 18
Eritrea 18
New Caledonia 18
Syria 16
Sint Maarten 16
Haiti 16
Equatorial Guinea 15
Mongolia 14
Namibia 14
Benin 13
Saint Lucia 13
Dominica 12
Curaçao 11
Greenland 10
Grenada 10
Laos 10
Libya 10
Mozambique 10
Seychelles 10
Suriname 10
MS Zaandam 9
Guinea-Bissau 9
Eswatini 9
Angola 8
Sudan 8
Zimbabwe 8
Saint Kitts and Nevis 8
Antigua and Barbuda 7
Chad 7
Fiji 7
Cabo Verde 6
Mauritania 6
Nepal 6
Vatican City 6
Liberia 6
St. Barth 6
Turks and Caicos 6
Nicaragua 5
Bhutan 5
Montserrat 5
Somalia 5
Botswana 4
Gambia 4
Anguilla 3
Belize 3
British Virgin Islands 3
Burundi 3
Malawi 3
Caribbean Netherlands 2
St. Vincent Grenadines 2
Sierra Leone 2
Papua New Guinea 1
Timor-Leste 1
Information from
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China has struggled to fight COVID-19 since the virus originated in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei provice of the country. The total number of infected has been reported to be  around 81,500 and the death toll is over 3,300. Most of the cases are in the proximity of Wuhan city. However, the situation is now has improved with no new cases reported within the last weeks suggesting that the containment measures have been successful in stopping wider spread of the virus.

The government has imposed a full scale lockdown of the city, with door-to-door searches and mass quarantines. Moreover, the government of China has been criticized for trying to hide information regarding the initial virus outbreak from the public. Doctor Li Wenliang, who was silenced by the authorities when he tried to expose the virus outbreak, died on February 7 due to the infection, causing public outrage with Chinese social media erupting with profound grief and anger.

Many countries of the world have vocally spoken out against China regarding suspicions that the government had deliberately misguided the world about the severity of the outbreak by hiding the real numbers of infected. China has been quick to protest such claims. However, the country has confirmed that they will begin surveys on asymptomatic cases from 8th April which may show the true scale of the outbreak.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been the primary organization in the United States leading the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The US now has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the world at 237,800 cases being reported and the third-highest death toll at over 5,700 confirmed deaths.

The country has taken strong measures to contain the current crisis. These measures include imposing travel bans, closing borders to non-essential travel, screening of travelers at airports, operating quarantine stations for sick patients, tracking potential infections, imposing self-isolation and social distancing, developing tests to detect and diagnose the virus and broadcasting best practices to the public and encouraging citizens to stay indoors and avoid going out in public as much as possible.


A cruise ship in Japan, the Diamond Princess has been the center of attention for having 690 coronavirus positive passengers on board.

The cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers. The ship was flagged and quarantined after one of the passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong was later tested positive for coronavirus. The passengers who had been in contact with the man, as well as anyone developing symptoms like fever or flu, were monitored by health officials. Out of the infected 7 died.

The ship had been in quarantine for about two months. After heavy sanitization and disinfection procedures overseen by the Japanese Ministry of Health, the ship has now been cleared and declared seaworthy. However, when the ship will set sail again is yet to be announced.


Singapore has raised its coronavirus alert level. The current orange level was last reached during the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2009 H1N1 swine flu epidemic, which indicates the virus is severe and is easily transmitted between persons.

Singapore has confirmed over 1000 cases infected with the new coronavirus as of April,2020.


The UK has issued a health advisory that all who are experiencing flu symptoms remain indoors.

The authorities have also given instructions that anyone who has recently returned from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or China be vigilant if experiencing cough or fever or breathlessness and report immediately to health officials.

On 27th March, the British PM Boris Johnson went online to reveal that he had been tested positive for coronavirus and is now in self-isolation at his home in Downing Street. He urged all the citizens to stay indoors and that accurate and responsible testing of the virus would allow them to defeat this disease.

The UK has over 33,000 reported cases of coronavirus infection and over 2,800 dead.


Despite a series of extreme measures employed by the government to halt the spread of the virus, including a nationwide lockdown and the shutdown of all non-essential businesses, Italy has been unable to “flatten the curve”. Slowing the spread of the contagion in proving to be an immense challenge for the country with an already overburdened healthcare system.

Italy has seen the most explosive spread of the virus since the pandemic began. The total number of cases reported is 124,632 and the death toll is especially high at 15,362. Experts say that Italy’s demography and unreliable reporting, as well as a weak health-care delivery system, played a key role in the disastrous spread of the virus.

In recent weeks, the number of ICU patients has dropped and the authorities are confident that they have managed to stabilize the situation and are optimistic that the number of cases will begin to drop soon.

As a doctor in the making, I feel fascinated by the advancements and expansion of medical science. This fuels my passion for trying to follow a health-conscious lifestyle. I love writing and sharing thoughts and ideas with the people I care about. If my work can reach out and help people to enjoy a healthy, happy life it will be an honor for me. Muhtasim Munir MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College

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