The statue of Christ the Redeemer is lit up in the colors of the South Korean flag during Easter Sunday events, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Rio de Janeiro. The word projected on the statue reads “Hope.” (Reuters)
SEJONG – The novel coronavirus is quickly expanding its power to other populous countries after hitting population giants such as China, Iran, Turkey, Germany and the US, and the next populous group including the UK, France, Italy, Spain and South Korea.
According to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the pace of growth of infections is relatively fast in India, Brazil and Russia -- three of the world’s top 10 by population.
Among other populous nations posting steep growth in confirmed cases of COVID-19 are Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and Egypt. These each have populations above 100 million.
Brazil ranked 14th with 22,318 cases as of 7 p.m. on Monday (Korean time), which is also posing worries over a spread to the entire South American continent, as the country -- with a population of 212 million -- borders 10 countries. Peru has 7,519 infections, followed by Colombia with 2,776, Argentina with 2,208 and Uruguay with 480. Countries it does not border in South America, Ecuador and Chile have also recorded more than 7,000 each.
Mexico with 4,661 infections is another regional detonator given its population of 128 million, as well as its location between the US and Central American nations. Central American and Caribbean countries have no choice but to closely stay alert to these situations, sandwiched between South and North America.
(Graphic by Kim Sun-young/The Korea Herald)
In addition, Canada, feasibly affected by the US, has exceeded Korea in its number of cases. Canada ranked 13th with 24,380 cases though its population is fewer by 14 million than that of South Korea.
Russia, whose population comes to 145 million, ranked 15th with 18,328 cases amid a recent quick spread of the virus. It borders Nordic, Eastern European and Asian countries including North Korea and China.
India (22nd) saw the number of patients reach 9,240, followed by Japan (25th) with 7,370, Pakistan (33rd) with 5,374, the Philippines (34th) with 4,932 and Indonesia (38th) with 4,241.
India, the world’s second most populous nation, borders Pakistan (fifth by population) and Bangladesh (eighth most populous), while Indonesia (fourth most populous) could affect Southeast Asian neighbors and Oceania.
Australia ranked 30th in the infections tally with 6,351, while New Zealand, whose population is fewer than 5 million, has posted 1,349 cases.
Egypt, whose population comes to 102 million, may provide the epidemic with a route to African neighbors, though the number of its confirmed cases remained 2,065 as of Monday.
Meanwhile, European countries are most critical in terms of mortality rates from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among countries with more than 10,000 infections, France posted 15.1 percent in mortality rate as of Monday, trailed by Italy at 12.7 percent, the UK at 12.6 percent, Belgium at 12.1 percent, the Netherlands at 10.7 percent and Spain at 10.2 percent.
In South Korea, the number of previously recovered patients already discharged testing positive again is growing.
For example, Sejong, the nation’s administrative city, saw the number of reconfirmed cases of its total 46 infections come to five. Among the five are a civil servant from the Ministry of Education and one from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, both of which are located at the Government Complex Sejong.
While civil servants working at the complex accounted for the dominant portion of the 46 patients since the city’s first case reported in February, 18 civil servants were still hospitalized as of Monday. They are 16 from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, one from the Ministry of Education and one from the Ministry of Interior and Safety.
Similar to some smaller European countries like Luxembourg and Iceland, Sejong is posting a relatively high infection rate in South Korea, though it has the smallest population among the eight major cities and nine provinces in the nation.
Sejong exceeds bigger areas like Daejeon, Ulsan, Gwangju cities and Jeju Province in the novel coronavirus tally.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org