The first official case of COVID-19 was recorded in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to numerous countries in every continent around the globe.
Today, the total number of cases has surpassed 2,000,000 infections, and the number continues to rise every 24 hours.
At the time of writing, there is a total of 2,024,622 COVID-19 cases worldwide. Of these, 1,403,175 are active infections, considering 128,965 have died of the disease, and 492,482 have completely recovered, according to Worldometer.
More than a quarter of the total cases are in the USA, which has become the epicenter of the virus at this stage with 615,406 confirmed cases as of April 15th.
The 5 countries with the highest infection rates after the USA are Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK in Europe, which have all recorded a sum of around 714,400 infections to date.
Going back to the United States, where the pandemic is at its peak, a Harvard study predicted that the country may need to periodically go into and out of social distancing phases until 2022.
The prediction came after Harvard scientists deduced from a computer simulation that the current lockdown will probably be insufficient to completely halt the pandemic in America, The National reported.
The question of origin
On the other side of the world, while China’s daily infection count dropped to 0 recently, the country in which the pandemic began is recording new cases, as well as deaths, again.
China recorded 46 new COVID-19 cases and 1 new death on Wednesday. As the heated debate of where the virus originated in the world continues between the US and China, the latter is tightening its grip on academic research that tackles the question of the virus’ origin.
According to CNN, Chinese authorities are closely inspecting all academic papers related to the virus and requiring researchers to submit their findings to the government, which would validate them before they could be published.
Several politically-charged versions of the story of how the virus broke out in the world have surfaced since its emergence.
While scientists pointed, early on, at the wet markets of Wuhan, which butchered and sold wild animals for consumption, many speculate that the disease is a Chinese or American bioweapon.
So far, no evidence points to either side of the story. The strongest evidence scientists have found, again, points towards the human consumption of wild animals, specifically bats.
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