In the past seven days, seven countries — Argentina, Brazil, Britain, France, India, Russia and the United States — have reported at least 100,000 new cases of the coronavirus, helping to push total cases worldwide to more than 40.7 million, according to a New York Times database.
In many cases, these countries are seeing numbers that are much higher than they were during the height of the pandemic in the spring. At that point most countries locked down, stopping movement and much interpersonal contact. Strategies have changed, and today local lockdowns are the way forward for most. There is more testing, giving a clearer picture of the pandemic. But the numbers continue to grow.
Over the past week in the United States, there have been 421,114 new cases, illustrating that the long-predicted fall wave of the virus is well underway. Midwestern and Rocky Mountain states are struggling to control major outbreaks. And the national trajectory is worsening by the day, as the cooler weather drives more people to stay indoors where the virus spreads easily. In some states, hospitals are almost full.
India reported 411,718 over the past seven days, but numbers have been falling since mid-September. On Monday, the country recorded fewer than 50,000 cases, the lowest number since July, the government said. But the lower numbers, which would seem at first glance to be good news, have raised questions. The government recently approved the use of rapid coronavirus testing based on gene-editing technology, hoping to increase its testing capabilities. But experts question the reliability of rapid tests.
In France, which has added 174,273 cases in the past seven days, a curfew has been implemented in Paris and eight other regions. Still, more than 11,000 virus patients are hospitalized, and 2,000 are in intensive care, a threshold that had not been reached since May. (The country currently has 5,800 intensive care beds.)
Brazil, which has reported 160,326 cases in the past seven days, is among the countries with the lowest testing rates and still lacks a clear contact tracing policy. Despite being the country with the second-highest death toll, about eight million Brazilians had received laboratory tests by mid-October according to the Ministry of Health, less than a tenth of the number of people tested in the United States. But, as in India, the disease has been trending downward in Brazil since early August. The country is now reporting an average of 500 deaths a day, half of the daily toll it reported two months ago. Most big cities have eased most social-distancing measures and opened some schools, restaurants, and beaches.
The number of daily recorded infections in Britain, which includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has nearly tripled since the beginning of October. In the past seven days, Britain has reported 127,622 new cases. Hospitalizations and deaths are also rising, and in some parts of the country, intensive care units are being stretched to their limits. The countries…