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COVID-19 Coronavirus

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In late December 2019, people in Wuhan, China began to get sick with a previously unknown pneumonia, marking the beginning of a new infectious disease, later identified as a new type of coronavirus.

The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses selected the name severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to represent that the new virus is a sister of the original SARS virus. The disease the virus causes was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The situation continues to change rapidly. Please follow the weekly situation reports from WHO. Check out the most up-to-date statistics from Johns Hopkins University or Worldometers.

As of May 2022, this profile will be updated every other week unless there is a major development.

(Photo credit: U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Amouris Coss)

Latest Updates

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About the numbers

The numbers change quickly and vary depending upon which source you use to track. The following are the latest updates and numbers, as of May 12, 2022, from Worldometers and a variety of other sources:

  • In the May 11 Epidemiological Update, the WHO said: “Globally, the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has continued to decline since the end of March 2022. During the week of 2 through 8 May 2022, over 3.5 million cases and over 12 000 deaths were reported, decreases of 12% and 25% respectively, as compared to the previous week. However, an increase in the number of new weekly cases was reported from the Region of the Americas (+14%) and the African Region (+12%) and an increase in the number of weekly deaths was reported from the African Region (+84%). As of 8 May 2022, over 514 million confirmed cases and over six million deaths have been reported globally.”
Source: WHO
  • As more people are vaccinated and boosted, the ability to overcome COVID-19 increases significantly. Death and hospitalization rates remain significantly higher among the unvaccinated population: Millions of vaccinated people have gotten sick from the omicron strain, but the shots served their most important function—preventing severe illness. During the omicron wave, vaccination with a booster reduced the chance of hospitalization and death by more than 90%. Sudden spikes of cases from the fast-moving variant have pressured health systems, but the outlook for the average Covid patient has improved significantly.”
  • The worldwide case total is 519,270,041, with more than 6.28 million deaths and more than 474.19 million recoveries. Over the past seven days, weekly worldwide new cases have decreased (5%) for a weekly total of 3.62 million new cases.
  • There are cases in 226 countries and territories. There are 62 countries with more than 1 million cases, with 27 of those having more than 4 million cases each.
  • The countries with the most cases after the U.S. (which has 83.96 million cases) are India (43.11 million cases), Brazil (30.62 million cases), France (29.06 million cases) and Germany (25.58 million cases).
  • The U.S. has regained the lead for countries with the highest number of new cases in the past seven days with just over 581,000 cases in a week (21% increase). Click To Tweet
  • Germany is in second with nearly 467,000 cases/26% decrease and Australia is in third with over 316,000/15% increase new cases. Following this are Taiwan (142% increase) and Italy (21% decrease).
  • The countries with the highest level of deaths over the previous seven days are U.S., Germany, the U.K., Russia and Italy.
  • At the beginning of 2022, Africa saw a gradual decrease in cases. However, throughout April and into May the continent is seeing increases with 68% more cases, 69,342 reported in the past seven days. The overall change in deaths is a 222% increase with 290 new deaths reported.
  • While Africa’s death total (254,170) is likely an undercount, so is the total number of cases (12.01 million). With little evidence of overflowing hospitals or mass burials – although some excess deaths have been recorded – Africa seems to be escaping the high death tolls of other areas of the world.
  • South Africa increased by 68% with 53,797 new cases. Because there were no cases reported last week for several countries, huge increases were recorded with the highest being Tanzania’s whopping 148,200% increase with 1,482 new cases (this was the third-highest number of new cases reported as well).
  • In Europe, cases decreased 25% over last week for 1.4 million new cases. Deaths are down 17% over the past seven days (6,011 new deaths).
  • Almost two-thirds of the cases in Europe were in Germany, France or Italy.
  • During the past seven days, only 7 of 44 European countries saw increases in new cases while 30 countries had a decreased death rate (and six had no change).
Asia and Middle East
  • Several countries in Asia and the Middle East continue to raise concerns. Regionally, there was a 10% increase in new cases (almost 1 million) and a 37% decrease in new deaths (1,787).
  • Taiwan had the highest number of new cases (303,128) – a 142%% increase. It jumped from fifth place just two weeks ago.
  • South Korea had the second-highest number of new cases but this has continued to decline with 263,003 new cases representing a 15% decrease.
South America
  • In South America, only six countries saw an increase.
  • Brazil had the highest number of new cases at 115,285,which is an 11% increase.
  • Overall, there is a 8% increase (152,206) in new cases and a 3% decrease (997) in deaths.
  • Overall, there was a 12% increase (373,077) in new cases and a 4% increase (357) in deaths.
  • Australia was highest in the region with 316,030new cases for a 15% increase. The Solomon Islands continues to climb with a 180% increase/2,497 new cases.
  • The island nation of Tonga, which until mid-January had contained COVID-19 to one sole case imported by a traveler, had the sixth-highest number of new cases in the region. There were 456 new cases (a 16% decrease) in the past seven days bringing its total to 10,950. There are 11 deaths total. A volcano eruption on Jan. 14 led to an influx of humanitarian responders and increased cargo traffic. Despite extreme measures to prevent the virus from spreading into the country, it has made inroads, but a severe lockdown prevented it from becoming as bad as predicted.
North America (including Central America and the Caribbean)
  • North America as a whole had 647,908 new cases (an increase of 18%) with U.S. cases making up the vast majority.
  • Twenty-three of the countries in the region saw an increase in cases, one had no change and 11 saw decreases.
  • Canada appears to be getting over its sixth wave, although the lack of PCR testing is making it difficult to determine the full impact. The country had a 32% decrease with 30,996 new cases and a 12% decrease (808) in deaths.
  • Many of the islands in the Caribbean are seeing increases Anguilla (196/196,000%), Dominica (524 cases/309%) and Saint Kitts and Nevis (26 new cases/225% increase).
  • Following the U.S. and Canada, Panama had the third-highest number of new cases (16,313/152% increase).
United States
  • The New York Times said on May 10, “Reports of new coronavirus cases have doubled in the past month as Omicron subvariants have spread across the country. Cases are increasing in all but seven states and territories, and in more than 10 states, the daily case average is twice as high today as it was two weeks ago. Some places, including Hawaii, Maine and Puerto Rico, have seen recent case counts approach or surpass the levels seen during last year’s Delta surge. Hospitalizations are also on the rise, driven primarily by increases on the East Coast. Just over 19,000 people are in American hospitals with the coronavirus each day, an increase of 20 percent from two weeks ago. The full impact of this surge is believed to be even greater than these numbers suggest. Since many infections go uncounted in official case reports, the roughly 73,000 cases currently announced each day likely capture only a portion of the true toll. Coronavirus deaths in the United States are expected to reach 1 million in the coming days, though daily death reports are currently low. Fewer than 400 deaths are being announced each day on average, down from more than 2,600 a day at the height of the Omicron surge.”
  • United States cases of COVID-19 increased by 571,002 (a 21% increase) over a seven-day period. This marks the fifth week in a row of increasing cases. There is a daily case average of 84,329 new cases (a 58% increase) over 14 days.
  • There were 1,707 new deaths in the U.S. over the past seven days for a 26% decrease compared to the previous seven days.
  • The U.S. has the highest number of new cases, total cases, total deaths and new deaths.
  • The U.S. case total is 83.96 million with more than 1 million deaths and more than 81.11 million recoveries. This means about 1% of resolved (confirmed) cases have ended in death (a decrease from 2%).
  • According to Worldometers, the U.S. reached one million COVID-19 deaths during the last week of March, although other sources still show it as just shy of that grim milestone.
  • According to the New York Times, as of May 12, at least 1 in 4 U.S. residents have been confirmed infected and at least 1 in 333 people in the country have died from COVID-19.
  • As of May 11, an average of 19,694 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 20% increase compared to the previous 14 days. There were 2,178 people in ICUs with COVID-19, a 12% increase. You can see ICU rates at hospitals near you here.
  • From the first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 8, 2020 to May 12, 2022, more than 11.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered in an effort to fight the pandemic; currently at a rate of 14.6 million doses daily.
  • Across the globe, 21% of people who have received at least one vaccination are from North America or Europe and 25% are from high-income countries. The wealthiest 50 countries have just 16.7% of the world’s population but have 21.6% of the vaccines. In the U.S. this works out to 4.9% of the vaccines but only 4.3% of the global population. To look at the flip side, the least wealthy 50 countries have 8.3% of the vaccine and 20.6% of the population.
  • The U.S. vaccination rate is 535,000 doses a day, a slight decrease from last week. According to the CDC, 258.28 million people (or 77.8%) in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 220.29 million people (or 66.3%) have been fully vaccinated. More than 5 million people have received an additional booster shot since approval on Aug. 13, with about 1.2 million receiving boosters before they were approved. Almost 50% of those eligible for first boosters have not received them. Many people are eligible for a second booster, increasing the total number of shots given.
  • According to the New York Times, “There are many reasons eligible people are not vaccinated or boosted. Surveys have indicated that some people are adamant in their refusal of the coronavirus vaccines, while others are open to getting a shot but have been putting it off or want to wait and see before making a decision for themselves or for their children. The first group, surveys have shown, tends to be disproportionately white, rural, evangelical Christian and Republican. The second group tends to be a more diverse and urban group, including many younger people, Black and Latino residents, and Democrats.”
  • The New York Times is tracking vaccine distribution on a state-by-state basis within the U.S. See the Vaccine Tracker for more information about vaccine development and the stages of different vaccines under development.

The CDC has four levels of classifications for variants: Variants Being Monitored (VBM), Variants of Interest (VOI), Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Consequence (VOHC). Currently, there are 11 variants being monitored, one variant of concern – Omicron including its variants – and no VOIs or VOHC.

The majority of cases in the U.S. (56.4%) are caused by BA.2, a sub-variant of Omicronwith most other cases coming from the sub-variant BA.2.12.1 (42.6%). According to the CDC, BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 are 25% more transmissible than BA.1 – the original Omicron – was. That variant was much more transmissible than Delta and other variants. It also spreads 80% faster than other variants did.

Like the original Omicron, its subvariants spread very easily, but symptoms more closely resemble a cold, at least for those who are vaccinated and otherwise healthy. It is predicted that 70-80% of people in the U.S. are immune to Omicron.

WHO is tracking two VOCs (Delta and Omicron) and no VOIs. WHO has two Variants Under Monitoring (VUMs) both of which only have alphanumeric designations. Omicron makes up 99.5% of global cases, with the BA.2 subvariant being the dominant variant in all WHO regions.

As this disease continues to spread across the world and emerge in new countries, despite the implementation of vaccines, the needs of communities and responding NGOs, governments and medical facilities are becoming clearer. As the pandemic continues into its second year, some key areas still need attention, although these vary depending upon the stage of the pandemic in a particular community. There is a distinct split internationally and domestically in terms of needs and a split between higher-income and lower-middle-income countries, on a global level.

Unrestricted access to timely and accurate information.

Many people around the world do not have accurate information about COVID-19 because they may not have access to it or the information may only be available through a gatekeeper. Even when they do have access, the information may be out of date or not factually correct. People have the right to unrestricted access to accurate and timely information so that they can make informed decisions about their health.

Vaccine support

There are significant concerns about the equitable distribution of vaccines both in the U.S. and around the world. On an international level, this means supporting the production and distribution of vaccines (see data on vaccine distribution inequities above), while on a domestic level it is focused more on education and supporting targeted distribution. As the focus of vaccine support moves to lower- and middle-income countries, supporting a strong health system will be critically important.

Income, basic needs and livelihoods

This continues to be a critical need. Research about COVID-19’s impact on poverty is mixed. Prior to the pandemic, about 34 million Americans, 10.5% of the population, lived in poverty. While this had been decreasing (2018’s rate was 11.5% and it was 14.8% in 2014), 2020 saw the largest annual increase since the 1960s.

Eight million people fell into poverty in 2020 increasing the rate to 11.8% in December 2020. While there was some temporary relief following a trillion-dollar investment in social programs these are already rolling back. The rates of poverty are even more extreme internationally, both before and after the pandemic started. In 2019, 8.2% of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 a day (the threshold for extreme poverty). While this is an incredible reduction from the 1960s when 80% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, the pandemic has set back decades of declining poverty rates.

It was already unlikely that the world would achieve its sustainable development goal of eliminating poverty by 2030, despite the great progress to date. COVID-19 reversed the decline and has added an estimated 124 million more people into extreme poverty.

In the U.S. as businesses reopened, they struggled to find workers due to low wages, lack of child care or fear of exposure to COVID-19 for frontline workers, especially those who are unvaccinated. In all countries, a large percentage of people are daily wage workers who are struggling due to quarantines, reduced incomes of their customers and decreased tourism. This has affected women more than men, across the globe. Supports are needed to provide economic opportunities through both direct cash giving and supporting employment including entrepreneurial options.

Mental health issues and suicide

Serious mental health needs have emerged throughout the pandemic. During a CDP webinar on support for mental health, bereavement and grief Huong Diep, a consulting psychologist with the Headington Institute said, “There are no safety zones anymore. All of us are simultaneously experiencing and grieving during this disaster, therefore our emotional bandwidths are stressed and limited.”

Intimate partner violence/Child abuse/Trafficking

There are also increased reports of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and child abuse. In both instances, many people are required to spend more time with their abusers. Those who work in these areas have also reported to CDP staff concerns about human trafficking, especially of young girls being sold by their families and young women being trafficked across borders.

Children and youth

The needs of children and youth include access to education, as well as concerns about mental health, digital literacy, foster care, immigration and abuse. Family poverty is also a concern as it impacts basic needs around access to housing, food, medical care, etc. Programs to provide additional support to children and their families are critical in all of these areas.

Medical needs

While the U.S. has been getting a much better handle on PPE, respirators, medical staffing, etc., however, each surge has created challenges in this area. PPE and medical support continue to be an extreme challenge internationally as new hot spots emerge.

In the U.S., many hospitals do not have enough staff to meet demand. Many international NGOs working in multiple countries have told CDP staff that respirators, oxygen and PPE are in extremely short supply. Additionally, they have indicated that very little testing is being done due to a lack of equipment or labs and therefore numbers being reported are severe undercounts, especially in low and middle-income countries.

Medical needs also continue to be a concern in terms of access to healthcare and prevalence of pre-existing health conditions. Support in this area includes provision of medical equipment, supplies and medication, and supporting the deployment of emergency health teams to areas needing support.


Maria DeJoseph Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist working at the WHO, says that 2-3 people are likely to develop long COVID symptoms for every 10 people who develop COVID-19.

Long COVID is an area of the disease that requires more research, as well as support for those individuals who contract it.

CDP has a COVID-19 Response Fund that provides an opportunity for donors to meet the ongoing and ever-expanding challenges presented by this virus. As of October 2021, CDP has granted more than $32.7 million to more than 150 organizations working in the U.S. and abroad, including grants made to fund projects in collaboration with other CDP funds.

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Philanthropic contributions

If you would like to make a donation to the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund, please contact development.

(Photo: Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) distributes hygiene kits in the Beka’a Valley in Lebanon to assist refugees with personal protection and household sanitization. Source: SAMS)

Recovery updates

If you are a responding NGO or a donor, please send updates on how you are working in this crisis to Tanya Gulliver-Garcia.

We welcome the republication of our content. Please credit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Donor recommendations

If you are a donor looking for recommendations on how to help in this crisis, please email Regine A. Webster.

Note: If you are an individual within the U.S. affected by this disaster, we encourage you to call your local 211 to see what resources are available in your community or look at the 2-1-1 COVID-19 Resources Page.

More ways to help

Plan your giving in response to COVID-19. Do not just react to the latest media report. Research the facts and the organizations that are responding. There is a lot of misinformation being circulated. The WHO and the CDC COVID-19 websites are recommended sources of timely, reliable information. CDP works to stay updated on who is responding and is happy to discuss needs with responding funders.

There are going to be multiple phases and needs in this crisis – the medical response situation, support for research and assisting vulnerable people who have been impacted. Match your giving to one of these areas or decide how you will transition funds as needs change. You may want to allocate your giving in a few ways:

  1. Give to Funds: Not everyone is an expert or has time to invest in researching the many organizations that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. By donating to a fund, you can pool your donation with other donors to have a more impact. Let the grants management experts conduct the research and due diligence to find the best organizations. In addition to our own COVID-19 Response Fund, CDP is aware of many large international funds or funds responding on a broad level. Funders should also consider specialized intermediary funds that are tackling key issues. Intermediary funds can allow donors to provide a grant that will be divided into multiple, smaller grants to support grassroots, frontline organizing or service delivery within organizations that may not have the capacity to receive a large grant.
  2. Fund local NGOs: As with all disasters, this epidemic is going to start and end locally. Think about the local NGOs that you already support in the areas of housing/homelessness, healthcare, nutrition/food support, mental health, domestic violence, care for seniors etc. There is going to be an increased need for their services during and after this outbreak. They need flexible, unrestricted funds that can provide additional dollars to deal with this epidemic. This is critical on an international level to develop or support the ongoing capacity of those organizations that will remain after international agencies leave.
  3. Expand existing giving: Be innovative in supporting your grantees. Reach out to your existing grantees to see how the crisis has affected them. Consider issuing additional funding to help them meet the latest needs of their clients. Or change their reporting requirements, deadlines and expectations to allow them to redirect funds.
  4. Partner with other funders: Our friends at the Communities Foundation of Texas shared that 20 funders and local United Ways in North Texas have created a funder collaborative called North Texas Cares with a joint application form and system. Funders can fund independently or pool funds, but NGOs need to only complete an application once.

CDP has also created a list of suggestions for foundations to consider related to disaster giving.

Related resources

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Pandemics and Infectious Diseases

Pandemics and Infectious Diseases

A pandemic is the sustained transmission of an infectious disease across a wide area of one country or across international borders. Pandemics may be either naturally occurring or the result of human intervention through genetic engineering or biological warfare.