The World Health Organization said nations should not be complacent about the spread of COVID-19 because by the rate the virus is crawling, "no country will be spared" from infections.
Many are still unknown about the virus. Initially, it was concluded that it started from a wildlife market in Wuhan until a study showed it originated somewhere else and a patient zero may have brought it there.
Most recently, public health officials are investigating a case of one patient from Northern California who contracted the virus even without travel history abroad. The patient also has no known contact with anyone infected. This is the first case of its kind elsewhere in the world.
Another concerning development is that of a patient in Japan who tested positive again after recovery. Similar cases are also growing in China. Those who were discharged confirmed positive for a second time.
On Thursday, it was noted that the number of new cases outside China surpassed those in the mainland.
Health experts could not help but link the present situation to a study years ago that was published by WHO. In the paper, the organization identified a mysterious "disease x" that could grow from mild to deadly contagion on a worldwide scale. Both Ebola and SARS were already ruled out. With how COVID-19 is evolving from mild to deadly fits the characteristic of the "disease x."
From December to February, COVID-19 now infected 82,294 worldwide. New cases as of February 27 are at 1,185.
Most of the cases are in China with the National Health Commission reporting 44 new deaths on February 28 and 327 new cases. To date, the country has a total of 78,834 cases and deaths of 2,788.
Outside China, the total number of infections is at 3,664 with 746 new confirmed cases; the total number of deaths is at 57 with 13 new deaths as of February 28. There are 46 countries with infected people.
"Whether (coronavirus) will be contained or not, this outbreak is rapidly becoming the first true pandemic challenge that fits the disease x category," Marion Koopmans, head of bioscience at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, said. He is also a member of WHO's emergency committee.
Nine new countries have reported new cases in the past 24 hours (Feb 27-28). These countries are Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, and North Macedonia.
More are coming in as Friday ends. Nigeria reported its first case, also the first in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Netherlands has also reported its first case. The patient has a travel history to Italy which has the largest number of infected people in the European region.
South Korea, the second country with the largest number of cases next to China, has now reported 256 new cases bringing the total to 2,022.
Meanwhile, here is the most recent count in different regions outside China and Asia.
United States of America 59 (6 new cases)
Canada 11 (1)
Brazil 1 (1)
Italy 400 (78)
Germany 21 (3)
France 18 (6)
The United Kingdom 13
Spain 12 (10)
Croatia 3 (1)
Austria 2 (0)
Finland 2 (1)
Israel 2 (0) 0
Russian Federation 2 (0)
Sweden 2 (1)
Belgium 1 (0)
Denmark 1 (1)
Estonia 1 (1)
Georgia 1 (1)
Greece 1 (1)
North Macedonia 1 (1)
Norway 1 (1)
Romania 1 (1)
Switzerland 1 (0)
Eastern Mediterranean Region
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 141 (46)
Kuwait 43 (31)
Bahrain 33 (7) United Arab Emirates 13 (0)
Iraq 6 (1)
Oman 4 (0)
Lebanon 2 (1)
Pakistan 2 (2)
Afghanistan 1 (0)
Egypt 1 (0)
African Region Algeria 1 (0)