The spread of coronavirus appears to be slowing down or leveling off in countries around the world after half the world’s population found itself under lockdown orders.
Graphs charting the number of daily infections in countries such as the US reveal how dramatic increases throughout March have now begun to stabilise.
Meanwhile previous hotspots such as Italy and Spain have seen new infections begin to tumble – a month after nationwide lockdown measures were first put into place.
Dr Hans Kluge, WHO director for Europe, said there were ‘optimistic signs’ that the virus has begun to recede on some parts of the continent – but they were being cancelled out by bad news elsewhere.
He singled out the UK, along with the likes of Belarus and Russia, as reason to believe that Europe is still ‘in the eye of the COVID-19 storm’.
‘Of the 10 countries in the region with the highest numbers of cases, there have been optimistic signs in terms of the climbing numbers in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland in recent weeks.
‘But small positive signals in some countries are tempered by sustained or increased levels of incidents in other countries, including in the UK, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.’
Today the UK reported 4,618 new cases and 861 more deaths, both slightly higher than yesterday, taking Britain’s infection total past 100,000. The latest figures are 103,093 cases and 13,729 deaths.
‘The next few weeks will be critical for Europe,’ Kluge said. ‘Make no mistake – despite the spring weather, we are in the middle of a storm.’
Underlining his point is the fact that daily death tolls have continued to rise in many places even as new infections fall, due to the time it takes an infected person to become sick enough to die.
Here, MailOnline graphs reveal how the surge in coronavirus cases has begun to slow down:
A graph showing the number of new infections in various countries, starting on the day they first recorded five infections. The graph shows a rolling average, meaning it shows trends in the data rather than exact figures. While some countries such as India, Japan and Indonesia are still rising up the chart, many countries have leveled off or are seeing infection rates fall
A graph showing the total number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day in the US. After three weeks of continual rises, the number of new cases reported each day has stabilised over the past 10 days
A graph showing the total number of deaths from coronavirus reported each day in the US. The number has kept peaking even as new infections have stabilised, because of the time it takes for a newly infected person to get sick enough to die
A graph showing the number of people ending up in hospital in New York state each day, the worst-affected of the American states. Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun discussing how to reopen the state after the daily total began falling
A graph showing the net change in total hospitalisations in New York state per day, revealing that the number of people ending up in hospital has been slowing since April 2 and went into reverse in the past week
A graph showing the number of new infections recorded each day in New York state. While the state hit a record 11,571 on Tuesday, the figure had been largely stable or in decline before that – indicating that it is likely a blip in the data
A graph showing the daily death toll from coronavirus in New York state, revealing that it has remained high by stable over the past week as the number of new cases also stabilises
Two charts showing the number of new coronavirus deaths each day in the UK, and the number of new infections, both of which have remained high but stable as government advisers say it appears the country has passed its peak
A graph showing the number of new coronavirus cases in Italy, the world’s worst-affected country. The number of new infections has been falling consistently for a month, as the government begins easing some lockdown restrictions
A graph showing the daily death toll in Italy, which has been falling consistently for three weeks. Italy has the highest death total of any world country at more than 21,000, but the situation there is improving
A graph showing the daily total of new coronavirus infections in Spain, which has also been trending downwards since the start of the month – prompting the government to relax some lockdown rules
A graph showing the daily total of deaths from coroanvirus in Spain, also showing a strong downward trend during April
A graph showing the total number of coronavirus cases each day in Germany, which shows that infections have been trending gradually downwards since the start of the month – but with several steep peaks and troughs
A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Germany, which have kept rising even as cases go into gradual decline because of the delay between people getting infected and becoming sick enough to die
A graph showing the daily infection totals in Sweden, which had been climbing steeply but now appear to be trending downwards. Sweden is significant because it is one of a handful of European countries not to go into lockdown
A graph showing the daily number of deaths in Sweden, which have begun to peak around a week after infections
A graph showing the number of daily infections in Australia, overlaid with a line graph showing the rate of increase. Both have been trending strongly downwards since late March – though the country will remain in lockdown for another month