The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter.
Covid-19 has killed more than 6 million people and infected more than half a billion since it first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the rollout of vaccines and the relaxation of strict measures in some parts of the world, global health experts warn that the pandemic is set to continue, with no end in sight. Variants such as delta and omicron have already changed the calculus several times over.
“Although we have made great progress and have many reasons for optimism, the perception that the pandemic is over is understandable but misguided,” World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a speech this month. “Ending the acute phase of the pandemic must remain our collective priority.”Jump to metric:
New daily reported cases across the world
At least 641,254,281 have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020.
- The spike in reported cases on Dec. 11, 2020 is due to a change in Turkey's reporting standards.
- The spike in reported deaths on June 2, 2021 is due to a reclassification of more than 120,000 deaths in Peru that occurred between March 2020 and May 22, 2021.
- The spike in reported cases on Nov. 18, 2021 is due to a change in Slovakia's reporting standards.
To prevent distorting the overall daily trends, these days' full values are not shown on this chart or included in daily averages.
Global hot spots for reported cases per capita
7-day rolling average of daily new reported cases per 100,000 residents
Note: Only countries with a population of more than 1 million are shown.
Where the virus is surging
The pandemic has hit different countries in different ways. The United States surpassed 1 million deaths by May 2022, the most of any country. By that point, it had recorded over 80 million cases, more than any other country.
Behind the United States, India, Brazil, France and Germany had the largest number of cases by mid-2022.
India’s record-setting surge in spring 2021 meant that the country accounted then for about 1 in 3 of all new confirmed cases. The spike, which was blamed on complacency and the lifting of restrictions, along with the spread of the virulent delta variant, overwhelmed the country’s health-care system amid widespread oxygen shortages. Even after the surge in new cases subsided in mid-May, India set records for the number of new daily deaths, with more than 4,500 deaths from covid-19 reported in a 24-hour period.
Cases of a new variant, omicron, were detected in southern Africa in November, and it soon spread rapidly around the world. Scientists warned that the variant, also known as B.1.1.529, could spread faster than delta and evade the antibodies created by vaccination and prior infection, although its broader impact remains unclear.
Some countries have shown success at controlling the virus — at a price.
New Zealand, which closed its borders and ordered people to stay home as a first wave hit in the spring of 2020, confirmed that infections dropped to zero for a time. Taiwan and Singapore have kept their outbreaks far smaller than those in other parts of the world, which some experts attribute to their early responses and sophisticated tracking and tracing.
But maintaining these “zero-covid” policies for almost two years has proved difficult. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in October that the country would phase out its pursuit of zero coronavirus cases and instead manage the spread of the virus through vaccinations and “everyday public health measures” to keep residents safe.
“The Chinese government is keeping a close eye on what is happening overseas to work out whether giving up a ‘zero-covid’ policy requires accepting a spike in cases,” Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global public health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post in October. “That prospect is not acceptable for China.”
Countries that have successfully rolled out vaccinations are also seeing gains. Britain, one of the hardest-hit countries in terms of cases and deaths, has excelled in the distribution of vaccine doses. It was the first country to roll out a fully tested vaccine to the general public in December 2020, when it began distributing the vaccine developed by Pfizer.
Data released by Public Health England in March suggested that vaccinations had saved over 6,000 lives among people over 70, if not more.
Compare countries by new daily reported cases per 100k
At least have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020.
At least have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020.
Case and death counts by country
|Country||Reported cases per 100k||New cases in last 7 days per 100k||Change in daily cases in last 7 days|