The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus outside China has now overtaken the number inside the country where the outbreak emerged late last year.

The grim milestone came Sunday, as the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed worldwide exceeded 162,600, with 81,003 of those cases in China, according to a real time database compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU),

The World Health Organization (WHO) Sunday update, with figures for the 24-hour period ending 5 AM U.S. eastern time, recorded just 27 new cases in China, compared to 10,955 new cases elsewhere in the world.

Excluding China, the hardest-hit countries around the world, according to the WHO figures, are:

  • Italy – 21,157 cumulative confirmed cases, 1,441 deaths
  • Iran – 12,729 cases, 608 deaths
  • South Korea – 8,162 cases, 75 deaths
  • Spain – 5,753 cases, 136 deaths
  • France – 4,469 cases, 91 deaths
  • Germany – 3,795 cases, 8 deaths

WHO figures for the United States as of 5 AM U.S. eastern time were 1,678 cases and 41 deaths. However, the more up-to-date JHU database shows a significantly higher figure in the U.S. – 3,244 cases and 62 deaths.

Globally, WHO reports 153,517 cases and 5,735 deaths as of 5 AM on Sunday. JHU figures as of 8 PM on Sunday are 162,687 cases and 6,065 deaths. The JHU database also shows that 75,620 people with COVID-19 have recovered.

A total of 143 countries and territories in the world are now affected by the outbreak, 59 of which have fewer than ten cases each.

Numbers of new cases in China and South Korea continue to decline generally. In South Korea, fewer than 120 new cases a day have been reported for the past four days. As recently as March 3, there were 600 new cases there in one day.

In China, the drop has been even more dramatic. For eight consecutive days now the number of new cases reported daily has been below 50.  Just two weeks ago China had 579 new cases (March 1), and looking back to the beginning of the outbreak,  more than 1,000 new cases were reported daily for 24 consecutive days, including six days with more than 3,000 new cases each. On February 5, a total of 3,893 new cases reported in China.

The situation in Italy, by contrast, remains dire. Four the past four days it has recorded more than 2,500 new cases a day, and the most recent count, for the 24-hour period ending early Sunday, was 3,497 new cases.

The graphs below, all based on confirmed cases reported by the WHO, show the developments in South Korea and Italy over the past two weeks, and in China since the WHO began daily updates on January 21.

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