• According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which consolidates data from a range of sources, as of March 30 there are 782,365 cases reported in 178 countries and regions.
• 37,582 deaths have been recorded.
• The United States leads the world in number of confirmed cases, with at least 161,807 cases recorded as of March 30.
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise globally. As countries continue to take aggressive steps to the curb the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized six key measures, in addition to social distancing, that will suppress and stop transmission:
expanding, training and deploying each country’s healthcare and public health workforce;
implementing a system to find every suspected case at the community level;
ramping up the production, capacity and availability of testing;
identifying, adapting and equipping facilities that can be used to treat and isolate patients;
developing a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts; and
focusing the whole of each country’s government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19.
These steps, says the WHO, will curb transmission and could even prevent local transmission, enabling countries to avoid severe social and economic costs related to more extreme control measures. Preventative efforts are becoming more important as the next big spike of cases could occur in vulnerable regions that lack sufficient healthcare systems. Currently, more than 100 countries and territories still have fewer than 100 cases. In response to this threat, the United Nations launched a $2 billion COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan focused on providing support to the most vulnerable countries.
In the United States, the majority of cases are in New York, with northeastern states also seeing case totals increase rapidly. New Jersey now has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the country. Additional hotspots are emerging across the country—including in New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis and Kansas City—leading officials to warn that medical facilities in these urban areas could soon be overwhelmed.
In response to the growing crisis, on March 27 President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, ordering General Motors to begin manufacturing ventilators. Additionally, the president signed a $2.2 trillion bipartisan stimulus package to boost unemployment benefits, help business and support healthcare systems across the country.