Islamabad: It has been nearly a year since the first coronavirus case was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of mention of countries entering a second or third wave. While there is no strict scientific definition to characterise a disease’s wave, plotting current outbreaks on a line chart can help us see whether or not a country has entered a new phase of infections or if it is still in part one of a continuous wave.
More than 55 million people are known to have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide. Some 1.3 million people have also died of the novel coronavirus, while nearly 35 million have recovered, data collated by Johns Hopkins University showed.
For many countries around the world, cases of COVID-19 are declining, while other countries are seeing significant spikes. Within each country, the pandemic is affecting different cities at different time intervals.
Taking the average number of confirmed cases around the globe, it appears to indicate the world has entered a third wave. This average is particularly influenced by trends in the United States and Europe, which collectively make up nearly half of the world’s confirmed COVID-19 cases, despite only comprising 14 percent of the global population.
The US, India and Brazil have emerged as the countries with the highest number of confirmed cases. By all accounts, the US has entered its third wave while India and Brazil seem to still be on one big wave.
Europe, where France reported the continent’s first case on January 24, continues to see a rise in infections, with several countries experiencing their second and third waves.
Cases in China have dwindled with the country reporting its lowest number of new coronavirus patients since January.
Iran, the first country in the Middle East to confirm the presence of the coronavirus on February 19, remains the worst hit in the region and is also experiencing a second wave.
It is important to note that confirmed cases are the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Test units vary significantly across nations. If countries with low confirmed cases are not sufficiently testing or sharing their data, they may have many more undiagnosed cases.