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[News Focus] India fast-approaching US in coronavirus infections

Top 10 includes 4 South American nations

A Kashmiri student wearing a face mask arrives at a school in Srinagar, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Monday. Schools on a voluntary basis for grades nine to 12 reopened in Indian-controlled Kashmir, five months after educational institutions were closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. (AP)
A Kashmiri student wearing a face mask arrives at a school in Srinagar, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Monday. Schools on a voluntary basis for grades nine to 12 reopened in Indian-controlled Kashmir, five months after educational institutions were closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. (AP)

SEJONG -- Over the past few months, the US has far and away topped the list in the world in the number of novel coronavirus infections. The nation saw the tally for confirmed cases reach 6.81 million as of Monday.

The growth pace of infections had been fast in countries such as China and South Korea in the early stage, in some European countries in the next stage and later still in the US and Brazil.

But the data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at US-based Johns Hopkins University shows the recent noteworthy situation can be seen in India, which has risen to the world’s No. 2 in terms of infections on a cumulative basis.

The tally for India, which was 9,240 on April 13, increased to 509,000 as of June 27. And it surged by 976 percent to 5.48 million in less than three months through Monday.

In contrast, the US posted 167 percent growth over the corresponding June 27-Sept. 21 period.

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(Graphic by Kim Sun-young/The Korea Herald)
(Graphic by Kim Sun-young/The Korea Herald)


In the third quarter of the year, India overtook Russia (currently No. 4 with 1.1 million cases) and Brazil (No. 3 with 4.54 million cases), in turn, continuously narrowing the gap with the figure for the US.

“Global media outlets are spotlighting Indian medical facilities, which quite lack accommodating capacity for its fast growing COVID-19 patients,” a Korean government official said. “Given its population of 1.3 billion and recent pace outstripping that of the US, there is a high possibility that India will overtake the US in infections in the coming months.”

Alongside India, the pace of spread is fast in South America. Peru ranked fifth with 768,000 cases as of Monday, Colombia (sixth) marked 765,000, Argentina (10th) notched 631,000 and Chile (12th) stood at 446,000.

Colombia and Argentina -- whose tally stood at 80,000 and 52,000 as of June 27 -- posted 850 percent and 1,100 percent, respectively, in infection growth. Over the past three months, Peru saw the number of coronavirus patients increase by 496,000.

There were four South American countries in the top 10 list: Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

Among other South and Central American countries, 130,000 cases have been reported in Bolivia, 126,000 in Ecuador, 108,000 in the Dominican Republic, 106,000 in Panama, 85,000 in Guatemala and 71,000 in Honduras.

Mexico and Canada, which border the US, ranked seventh with 697,000 and 26th with 145,000 cases, respectively.

In Asia, Iran ranked 13th globally with 425,000, followed by Bangladesh (15th) with 350,000, Saudi Arabia (16th) with 329,000, Iraq (17th) with 319,000 and Pakistan (18th) with 306,000.

Other countries whose tally exceeds 100,000 include Spain (640,000), France (491,000), the UK (396,000), Italy (298,000), Germany (274,000), Israel (188,000), Belgium (102,000), Egypt (102,000) and the Netherlands (100,000).

Those between 50,000 and 100,000 include China with 90,000, Sweden with 88,000, Japan with 79,000, Portugal with 69,000, Ethiopia with 68,000, Singapore with 57,000 and Switzerland with 50,000.

Among those between 10,000 and 50,000 are Ghana (46,000), Austria (38,000), Ireland (32,000), Australia (26,000), Denmark (23,000), South Korea (23,000), Greece (15,000), Norway (12,000) and Malaysia (10,000).

For the world, the infection tally has reached 31.1 million in 188 nations collectively. The number of deaths (960,000) is approaching 1 million, according to the CSSE data.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)



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