According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which consolidates data from a range of sources, as of April 8 there have been 1,504,971 cases reported in 184 countries and regions.
In the United States, International Medical Corps currently is supporting three health facilities in Los Angeles, two facilities in Puerto Rico and two facilities in New York City with emergency medical shelters, equipment and supplies, with more support planned in New York, Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans.
International Medical Corps has screened more than 85,000 individuals for COVID-19 at our global missions.
International Medical Corps has trained more than 5,000 frontline healthcare professionals on COVID-19 prevention and control measures, and has reached more than 170,000 people with communications on how to reduce risk.
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, with more than 1.5 million cases and almost 88,000 deaths reported globally. Approximately 60% of the fatalities reported have come from four European countries: Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. There are tentative hopes that the coronavirus outbreak in Europe could be decelerating, as the rate of new infections and deaths has started to slow in Italy, Spain and France. Italy, which was the epicenter of Europe’s pandemic before the drastic increase of cases in Spain, reported its lowest daily COVID-19 death toll in more than two weeks. On April 6, Spain also reported fewer deaths, indicating a possible downward trend.
In Africa, there are now more than 10,000 cases, with infections in every country but Comoros and Lesotho. As the number of confirmed cases has increased in the last few days, clusters are evident in northern and eastern Africa. Given the rapid spread of the virus, experts are concerned that the continent is at a tipping point, as they expect to see more local transmission as case numbers increase.
In the United States, the number of confirmed cases has almost reached 425,000, with more than 14,500 deaths recorded. The death toll, which now exceeds the number of people known to have died from the virus in China, doubled from 5,000 to 10,000 in fewer than five days. The increase in deaths comes as hospitals continue to face severe shortages in testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff working to combat the virus. According to a report released by the Inspector General of Health and Human Resources, one of the most significant challenges faced by hospitals is testing and caring for patients with known or suspected COVID-19 while keeping staff safe. The report, which is based on interviews with 323 hospitals from 46 states, as well as the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico, highlights the need for basic supplies and equipment—including thermometers, disinfectants, linens and toilet paper—along with medical equipment, including ventilators. Hospitals are also facing shortages of specialized providers who can support the increased patient load.
As the crisis has expanded across the country, administrators are struggling with the steep increase in prices for PPE, including masks, gloves and face shields. The lack of testing, unavailability of testing materials and extended wait times for test results have strained hospital resources. Hospitals are being forced to extend the stays of suspected COVID-19 patients, pushing facilities beyond their bed capacity. Many hospitals have had to expand their facilities to accommodate the surge in patients.