explainer

America, Britain and Russia: How COVID-19 is impacting countries around the world right now.

As the year draws to a close, the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the globe, with millions of people set to welcome the new year from their own homes. 

Worldwide, there have been more than 82 million recorded infections of COVID-19, of which 1.8 million people have died, according to Worldometer

Cases have surged in the past month thanks to a new strain of the deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the UK, and subsequently leaked into other countries, including in Australia. 

Several European countries placed new restrictions on travel to and from the United Kingdom, including Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, El Salvador, France and Sweden.

Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 around the world right now.

Watch: What you're like in isolation, according to your star sign. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

Britain

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the new variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, is threatening to overwhelm its healthcare system. 

The new strain has prompted strict lockdown measures for London and southeast England, whilst ambulances with COVID-19 patients have been seen queueing outside hospitals in England. The UK Health Secretary is reportedly preparing to announce even tougher restrictions amid surging cases.

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Coronavirus patient numbers in the UK have reached its highest levels during the pandemic, with 51,135 further cases in one day and 414 deaths reported on Tuesday.

According to The Guardian, scientists are calling for a full lockdown in England, saying the alternative is "tens of thousands" of avoidable deaths. 

America

America continues to reach grim milestones in regards to its COVID-19 cases and deaths. 

According to CNN, one in 1,000 Americans has died from the virus since their first recorded infection in late January.

The country has now recorded nearly 20 million cases, and almost 350,000 deaths.

The US is currently averaging 2,210 COVID-19 deaths per day, but on Tuesday, they recorded an additional 3,708 COVID-19 deaths, marking their deadliest day yet of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University

On top of this, on Tuesday the US also reported its first case of the COVID-19 variant that's been seen in the United Kingdom. 

The strain was found in a man in his 20s who lives southeast of Denver in Elbert County and has no travel history, state health officials said, proving it is spreading in the community. 

The discovery of the new variant led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue new rules for travellers arriving in the US from the UK, requiring they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

California has become a new epicentre for the virus, with hospitals being strained to the brink all month under a mounting surge of coronavirus cases, fuelled by increased holiday-season travel and socialising by Americans disregarding public health warnings.

A clinician cares for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Providence St. Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients in Southern California on December 23, 2020. Image: Getty. 

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Thailand

After months of seeming to have the COVID-19 situation under control, Thailand has seen two major clusters developing since mid-December. One has mainly infected hundreds of migrant workers from Myanmar at a seafood market near Bangkok, while in recent days a cluster has grown connected to a gambling den in an eastern province.

Thailand generally has been viewed as successful in combatting the coronavirus, due partly to its well-regarded public health infrastructure and people's adherence to mask-wearing and other protocols. But cases have jumped significantly since the outbreak. 

Millions of low-wage jobs in Thailand are filled by workers from less affluent neighbouring countries, especially Myanmar.

Russia

Russia's updated statistics on coronavirus-linked deaths show that more than 100,000 people with COVID-19 had died in the pandemic by December, a number much higher than previously reported.

According to the data released on Monday by Russia's state statistics agency Rosstat, 116,030 people with COVID-19 died in Russia between April and November.

Rosstat's count is much higher than the 55,827 deaths in the pandemic that have been reported by the Russian government's coronavirus task force.

The Russian task force's relatively low death count, which is reflected in the numbers released by the World Health Organisation, raised questions among experts at home and abroad as Russia's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases became one of the world's largest.

- With AAP.

Feature image: Getty. 


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