(NEW YORK) — The latest data from Johns Hopkins University finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 217,000 people worldwide and sickened over three million — a number that is believed to be much higher due to testing shortages and countries possibly under-reporting the outbreak.
On Tuesday, the United States surpassed a million confirmed cases and at least 58,000 deaths since the first positive case was reported in January — more than the number of American casualties suffered in the Vietnam War.
COVID-19 casualties will continue to rise, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate can grow exponentially if social distancing guidelines aren’t followed.
How many deaths the U.S. will see when the pandemic slows down remains “very uncertain” but deaths were noticeably lower when “strong contact reduction” is included in models, the CBC says. However, the CDC is certain that deaths will continue to climb over the next four weeks, noting that the degree to which they rise depends on social distancing guidelines, contact tracing and testing.
While some states are using these models to extend stay-at-home rules, other states, like Georgia, are forging ahead with reopening their economies.
As for other countries, Japan has confirmed that it will cancel the 2020 Olympics should the COVID-19 pandemic persist into the summer. New Zealand, one of the first countries to institute strict lockdown and social distancing mandates, reported just three new cases on Tuesday and is now loosening its lockdown measures.
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