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56% of Coronavirus Deaths Occurred in Just 3 Countries

Newser — Rob Quinn

On March 26, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide hit 500,000. A week later, it reached 1 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Almost a quarter of the cases—and 6,000 of the more than 53,000 COVID-19 deaths—are in the US. The true number of cases worldwide is believed to be higher, since some countries are suspected of concealing the extent of outbreaks and others lack testing capacity, the Guardian reports.

Brendan Murphy, Australia's chief medical officer, said Thursday that he suspects the real figure is 5 million or 10 million worldwide. "The only numbers I have total faith in are the Australian numbers, frankly," he said.



Some 56% of the confirmed COVID-19 deaths worldwide are in Italy, Spain, and France, the three hardest-hit countries in Europe, the AP reports. In Spain, which has recorded more than 10,000 deaths, there was a glimmer of hope that the outbreak may have peaked when 932 deaths were reported Friday—down slightly from the record set the day before.

Only Italy, with almost 14,000 deaths, has reported more COVID-19 fatalities. The BBC reports that out of the 193 United Nations members, only 18 countries have not reported coronavirus cases.

Some of them—including North Korea and Turkmenistan, which has banned the media from using the word "coronavirus"—are suspected of covering up outbreaks. Others are small Pacific islands that have strictly controlled arrivals.

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This article originally appeared on Newser: 56% of Coronavirus Deaths Occurred in Just 3 Countries