The coronavirus has infected more than half a million people around the world across at least 175 countries. 120,000 people have recovered from infection, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The virus, which was first detected in the city of Wuhan in China's Hubei province, has spread to more than 500,000 people. China has more than 81,800 cases, with around 3,200 fatalities and 73,000 recoveries. With more infections now reported outside China than within, the country claims the outbreak has been largely contained.
Italy has seen the most number of cases outside China, with nearly 74,300 confirmed infections, followed by the U.S., where more than 69,600 people have tested positive for the virus.
Europe has overtaken China as the epicenter of the outbreak, with Spain (over 56,100 cases) and Germany (over 41,500 cases) also ranking in the top five countries outside China with the highest number of cases.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization warned that the U.S. has the potential to experience a widespread outbreak. When asked whether the U.S. could become the new epicenter of the virus, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters: "We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential."
Travel bans and other restrictions have been introduced in various parts of the world in a bid to help curb the spread of the virus. Strict lockdown measures and increased virus testing appeared to be among the key factors in mitigating the spread.
While China has coped with the highest number of cases in the world by a large margin, imposing a strict, large-scale lockdown in Wuhan from the onset of the outbreak allowed it to curtail the spread. This week, for the first time in two months, outbound travel restrictions were lifted in Hubei, while restrictions in Wuhan are expected to be lifted next month.
South Korea, which formerly had one of the largest number of cases outside China, managed to slow the spread of the virus, much of which has been credited to the country's rigorous virus testing. South Korea has tested more than 316,000 people as of March 20, according to Statista.
The U.S. has conducted at least 370,000 virus tests, the majority of which were done in the last eight days, Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and health expert on the COVID-19 virus task force, confirmed earlier this week at a White House press briefing.
"The majority of thoseover 220,000 in the last eight days, which, those of you who have been tracking the South Korea numbers, put us equivalent to what they did in eight weeks that we did in eight days," she said at the briefing.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of the COVID-19 virus across the world.
(as of March 26, 2020)
Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the recovery curve compared to the infection curve of the virus.
Mask and glove usage