COVID-19 continues its rampage around the world

Published July 30, 2020, 11:05 PM

by Manila Bulletin

This weekend, the  global  number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 16-million mark, with  the United States  having  the most cases at  over 4 million.  The global death toll was 646,996,  the US  accounting for nearly a fourth of the total with 146,788.

For Americans, Sunday was also a special day as the 100th day before the presidential election on November 3, Tuesday.  The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to  be  the  key  issue in the election—more specifically, President  Trump’s  rather poor  handling  of the situation.

In terms  of  deaths  in relation to population, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Belgium is at the top of the list, with 85  fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed  by  Britain with 67, Spain  with  61, Italy  with 58, and Sweden with  56.

In  comparison,  the Philippines,   which had 1.932 deaths last Sunday  in a population of over 100 million,  would score only about 2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.  But,  it  is said,  the  European  countries as well  as the  US are doing much more testing, thus discovering many more cases.

The WHO   said  Brazil and India reported their highest  daily increases in infections, while  the figures remained  high in South Africa. Infections  and  deaths  in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden, and  the US  are widely believed to be higher  than recorded, the WHO  report said.

In other reports,  North  Korea, the world’s most reclusive country,  reported its first coronavirus case – a defector who  left  for  South Korea  three years ago and  returned recently.  Authorities  thus locked down the city of Kaesong near the border.  South  Korea  reported  its  highest infection  rate  in four months, while Vietnam reported  its first  locally transmitted case   in 100 days. Australia ordered  a six-week   partial  lockdown  and made face masks mandatory in Melbourne after a new outbreak.

In Africa, Kenya  reported  a surge in cases two weeks after reopening  domestic flights and other  activity.  In  the Middle East, Oman ordered  a lockdown that would  be in force during the Islamic  feast of  Eid al-Adha.

Everywhere in the world, there is a report on  the  surging  coronavirus  pandemic, with some countries doing  better than others.  But,  on the whole, the virus continues to spread , thriving on ignorance and on the hard-headedness  of those who continue to ignore the basic  defenses  of using face masks,  keeping one’s distance, and  frequent and thorough washing of hands.  Until a vaccine is found and its use  becomes widespread, people will have to protect themselves as best as they can.

 Meanwhile, let us read about what the people of other countries are going through today and learn  from  their experience,  for we are all  fighting  a common enemy in the COVID-19.