Global coronavirus cases surged past 25 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, as India marked a worldwide record for daily new cases in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data showed steady global growth as the disease’s epicenter shifts again, with India taking center stage from the United States and Latin America.
Meanwhile, Zambia confirmed a cumulative total of 12,025 with the cumulative number of deaths linked with COVID-19 at 287, which have been classified as: 95 deaths due to COVID-19 and 192 COVID-19-associated deaths.
The Zambian government on thanked the Chinese government for the support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said China is among countries that have been in the forefront of supporting Zambia in the fight against the pandemic.
Speaking during a COVID-19 update, he said the Jack Ma Foundation has also been among partners that have helped not only Zambia but the entire African continent in containing the pandemic.
According to the Health Minister, the assistance from China, and other cooperating partners, has helped the country deal with the pandemic.
“We would not have been where we are without their support,” he said, adding the country offers profound gratitude to cooperating partners.
According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) 20 African countries are under full border closure due to concerns related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.
The Africa CDC, a specialised healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission, disclosed that some 20 African countries are still under “full border closure,” as most African Union (AU) member countries have imposed mandatory quarantine for all travellers arriving from high-risk areas.
Last week, the Africa CDC said some 15 African countries have so far reported more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases amid a major spike of new cases across the continent. It also noted that some 32 African countries have so far reported less than 5,000 COVID-19 cases.
The Africa CDC also noted that eight other African countries have so far reported positive COVID-19 cases ranging from 5,000 to 10,000.
The southern Africa region is the most affected area in terms of confirmed cases, followed by northern Africa and western Africa regions.
India’s single-day tally of 78,761 new coronavirus infections on Sunday exceeded the one-day increase of 77,299 reported by the United States in mid-July. The south Asian country’s surge took the global caseload to 25,074,751.
The official number of global coronavirus cases is now at least five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organisation data.
Around the world, there have been more than 840,000 deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, is third behind, the United States and Brazil, in total caseload, but has consistently outpaced both in new daily cases since Aug. 7, according to the Reuters tally.
Despite the surging case numbers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for a return to normalcy to lessen the economic pain of the pandemic, having imposed a strict early lockdown of the country’s 1.3 billion people in March.
The government announced on Saturday that it will reopen underground train networks – a lifeline for millions in the capital city of New Delhi – and allow sports and religious events in a limited manner from next month.
Latin America is the region with the most infections in the world, although some countries in the region are beginning to show a slight decline in infections.
In the United States, metrics on new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and test positivity rates are all declining, but there are emerging hotspots in the Midwest.
The global pace of new infections has steadied a little. It has taken about three weeks for the caseload to jump by 5 million cases to 25 million. That compared with the 19, 24 and 39 days it took, respectively, to add 5 million cases to the 20 million, 15 million and 10 million marks.
The rate of new daily cases has slowed to around 1.2% over August so far. That compared with 1.7% in July, 1.8% in June, 2.1% in May, 4.6% in April and 7.7% in March.
Health experts stress that official data almost certainly underreports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.
While COVID-19’s trajectory still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of patients, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.