Editor’s note: Revised Mar 6, 2330 UTC to update total infections/fatalities and include newly confirmed first cases in Cameroon, Colombia, Peru, Serbia, Slovakia, Togo, and Vatican City.
Another 36 nations have confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 this week, as coronavirus has now affected 92 out of 195 countries (47%) across the globe.
The World Health Organization has refrained from classifying COVID-19 a global “pandemic,” but calls to do so are growing louder as all six continents are scrambling to contain the virus that, only six weeks ago, was contained to a few hundred cases in China.
Between Feb 29 and Mar 6, nations including Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia first documented coronavirus. This week’s wave of 35 countries followed a group of 27 countries that confirmed their first COVID-19 cases last week (Feb 22 to Feb 28).
In total, 101,917 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide as of Mar 6, 2330 UTC, along with 3,488 deaths. Outside mainland China, which has 80,651 cases, South Korea (6,593 cases, 42 deaths), Iran (4,747 cases, 124 deaths), and Italy (4,636 cases, 197 deaths) are fighting the largest outbreaks.
The following 36 countries confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 this week (Feb 29 to Mar 6):
ANDORRA 🇦🇩 (1 case)
The first case of coronavirus in Andorra was confirmed on Mar 1, Reuters reported. According to Andorran health officials, the male patient in his 20s recently returned from a trip in Milan, Italy and is now hospitalized.
ARGENTINA 🇦🇷 (2 cases)
On Mar 3, Argentina’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a 43-year-old citizen who had traveled from Northern Italy on Mar 1, according to US News & World Report. No other details were immediately available.
ARMENIA 🇦🇲 (1 case)
The Armenian prime minister confirmed his country’s first case of COVID-19 on Mar 1. According to Public Radio of Armenia, the patient is a male 29-year-old Armenian citizen who arrived from Tehran, Iran by plane with his wife on February 28. His wife tested negative, and the patient is reportedly in “good condition,” Public Radio of Armenia reported.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 🇧🇦 (2 cases)
The first cases of coronavirus in Bosnia and Herzegovina were confirmed on Mar 5. A male patient who works in Italy, and his child, were diagnosed with the virus, Balkan Insight reported. The country’s health minister said he expected more cases due to the large number of Bosnians who work in Italy.
BHUTAN 🇧🇹 ( 1 case)
An American tourist traveling in Bhutan reportedly became the country’s first diagnosed case of COVID-19 on Mar 6. The 76-year-old male patient arrived in Bhutan from India on March 2, The Hindustan Times reported. Bhutan immediately closed its borders to all tourists for 14 days, the prime minister’s office announced.
CAMEROON 🇨🇲 (2 cases)
Cameroon confirmed its first coronavirus case on Mar 6 along with fellow West African Nation Togo. According to Bloomberg, a 58-year-old French national and a Cameroonian woman tested positive and are receiving treatment at a hospital in Yaounde.
CHILE 🇨🇱 (4 cases)
Health officials in Chile confirmed the country’s first case of COVID-19 on Mar 3 in a 33-year-old man in the city of Talca, south of Santiago, Reuters reported. According to Anadolu Agency, Chile has sent a delegation of four health experts to China to study the country’s containment measures.
COLOMBIA 🇨🇴 (1 case)
COVID-19 is now spreading through South America as Colombia and Peru became the latest countries to confirm the virus on Mar 6. According to CNN, a 19-year-old patient was diagnosed after returning from Milan, Italy. On the continent, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia have confirmed the virus.
COSTA RICA 🇨🇷 (1 case)
Costa Rica is now the first country in Central America with coronavirus, after it reported a suspected infection in a 52-year-old woman who recently returned from Italy and Tunisia. According to the Tico Times, the woman is in quarantine with her family, who are not presenting symptoms.
CZECH REPUBLIC 🇨🇿 (18 cases)
The Czech Republic confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus on Mar 1, including an American student who had been studying in Milan, Italy, Radio Prague reported. An additional five cases have been confirmed since then, including an Ecuadoran woman who was traveling with the American student.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 🇩🇴 (2 cases)
The first cases of coronavirus in the Caribbean were reported in the Dominican Republic on Mar 1. The Miami Herald reported that a 62-year-old Italian traveler had arrived on the island on Feb 22 and was hospitalized Feb 29, but it was “likely that others were exposed.” According to the Miami Herald, health officials fear tourism-heavy regions like the Caribbean are at elevated risk of coronavirus, as nearby islands of Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin also confirmed COVID-19 cases this week.
ECUADOR 🇪🇨 (13 cases)
On Feb 29, Ecuador became the second South American nation to document coronavirus, following Brazil on Feb 25. The country’s health minister said an Ecuadoran woman in her 70’s who lives in Spain arrived in the country on Feb 14 and was later confirmed to have the virus, VOAnews.com reported. Days later, the country confirmed five additional cases, all of who had contact with the first infected patient, BBC News reported.
FAROE ISLANDS 🇫🇴 (1 case)
The Faroe Islands, a small, isolated archipelago in the North Atlantic between Iceland and Norway, confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Mar 4. According to the country’s ministry of health, a male traveler from Paris, France returned to the island with the virus on Feb 24 and he and his family are currently in isolation.
Note: The Faroe Islands are officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark and are not included in the above count of 36 countries. They are included here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Europe.
HUNGARY 🇭🇺 (2 cases)
Two Iranian students in Hungary are that country’s first documented infections of COVID-19, according to a Mar 4 announcement by its prime minister. Hungary Today reported that both student had recently visited Iran and, once they returned, one specifically asked to be tested, and both are “in good health and had no fever.”
INDONESIA 🇮🇩 (4 cases)
Although nearby nations Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, The Philippines, and Australia all documented their first COVID-19 cases weeks ago, Indonesia finally confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on Mar 2. However, the nation’s large population and its close ties to China have scientists worried about a “silent epidemic” in the country that is only being documented now. The two reported cases were two women aged 31 and 64 from Depok, Science Magazine reported. Scientists called the lack of cases “implausible, given the large number of visitors—both for tourism and business—from nearby China.”
IRELAND 🇮🇪 (18 cases)
The Republic of Ireland confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Feb 29, just two days after the first infection was reported in Northern Ireland (which is park of the UK) on Feb 27. The case in the Republic of Ireland was a male patient in the eastern region of the country who had recently returned from a trip in Northern Italy, BBC News reported.
JORDAN 🇯🇴 (1 case)
The first case of coronavirus in the Kingdom of Jordan was reported on Mar 3. According to The Jerusalem Post, patient had returned to Jordan from Italy two weeks ago and was tested Mar 1. Jordan’s first case means only Turkey, Syria, and Yemen have yet to report a case of COVID-19 in the Middle East (as of Mar 4).
LATVIA 🇱🇻 (1 case)
According to the Baltic News Network, a woman who traveled from Italy to Munich to Riga, Latvia is the first confirmed Latvian case of COVID-19. The patient arrived on Feb 29 and was diagnosed on Mar 3, BNN reported.
LIECHTENSTEIN 🇱🇮 (1 case)
Liechtenstein documented its first case of COVID-19 on Mar 3 in a male patient who traveled to Liechtenstein from an undisclosed country. According to Vorarlberg Online, the country has 14 suspected cases, including one positive, nine negative and four pending.
LUXEMBOURG 🇱🇺 (2 cases)
On Feb 29, health officials in Luxembourg diagnosed the country’s first case of COVID-19. The male patient in his 40s traveled from Italy through Belgium’s Charleroi airport to Luxembourg, where he is in isolation with his family, The Brussels Times reported.
MONACO 🇲🇨 (1 case)
A male patient in his 50s has tested positive for coronavirus in Monaco, according to a Feb 29 report by Bloomberg. The patient is being treated in Nice, France and health officials are seeking out possible contacts, Bloomberg reported.
MOROCCO 🇲🇦 (2 cases)
Morocco’s first case of COVID-19 was documented on Mar 2 in a Moroccan citizen living in Italy, Metro UK reported. According to the country’s health minister, the patient is hospitalized in Casablanca, not in critical condition.
PALESTINE 🇵🇸 (16 cases)
The Palestinian Authority confirmed seven cases of COVID-19 on Mar 5, all in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Anadolu Agency reported. The infected patients are all in quarantine, according to the Palestinian health minister. Palestine has closed all mosques and churches for 14 days, including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
PERU 🇵🇪 (1 case)
A 25-year-old LATAM Airlines employee is the first case of COVID-19 in Peru, according to National Post. The patient had recently traveled to Spain, France, and the Czech Republic, according to Peru’s prime minister. LATAM Airlines, based on Chile, is South America’s largest carrier, according to National Post.
POLAND 🇵🇱 (5 cases)
Poland became the most recent nation to confirm its first case of coronavirus on Mar 4, after a man in Zielona Góra in western Poland was hospitalized with the virus. According to Poland In, the infected patient had recently returned from Germany.
PORTUGAL 🇵🇹 (13 cases)
The first two cases of coronavirus in Portugal were confirmed on Mar 2 and both were related to international travel, according to an article by US News & World Report. The country’s health minister said one case was a 60-year-old man returning from Italy, and a 33-year-old man who had traveled from Valencia, Spain, USNWR reported.
QATAR 🇶🇦 (8 cases)
An outbreak of COVID-19 has been documented in the Middle East nation of Qatar after the nation’s first case was reported on Feb 29. The original case was a 36-year-old Qatari woman who tested positive after being evacuated to Doha from Iran. Since then, Qatar has confirmed six other cases, including four passengers from the same private plane that evacuated from Iran by the Qatari government, Reuters reported.
SAINT BARTHÉLEMY 🇧🇱 & SAINT MARTIN 🇲🇫 (3 cases)
The island territories of Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) and Saint Martin confirmed three cases of coronavirus on Mar 1. According to Antigua’s Daily Observer, the virus was found in two French citizens who were traveling through St Martin from St Barts. The third case was their son, who is now isolated in his home on St Barts, the Daily Observer reported.
Note: St. Barts and St. Martin are officially territories of France and are not included in the above count of 36 countries. They are included here because the presence of the coronavirus on the islands is significant and demonstrates its continued spread through the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic.
SAUDI ARABIA 🇸🇦 (5 cases)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed on Mar 2 in a traveler arriving from Iran via Bahrain. In response, Saudi Arabia barred travelers from other Gulf Coast Countries from entering the Kingdom for 14 days after returning from affected regions, Arab News reported.
SCOTLAND 🏴 (1 case)
According to The Edinburgh Times, Scotland diagnosed its first case of coronavirus on Mar 1 in a patient who traveled from Italy. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, 698 negative tests have been documented in Scotland, The Edinburgh Times reported.
Note: Scotland is officially part of the United Kingdom and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is included here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Europe and the UK (all four UK countries have now confirmed the virus).
SENEGAL 🇸🇳 (4 cases)
On Mar 2, Senegal became the fourth country on the African continent to report its first case of COVID-19, following Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria. According to France24, a French traveler who lives in Senegal returned to the country on Feb 25 after staying in southern France. He was later diagnosed with the virus on Mar 2 and is currently quarantined in Dakar, Senegal’s health minister said. A second case was confirmed on Mar 3 in an 80-year-old man from a suburb of Paris who traveled to Senegal on Feb 29, Reuters reported.
SERBIA 🇷🇸 (1 case)
The COVID-19 spread in southeastern Europe continues as Serbia confirmed its first coronavirus case on Mar 6, according to Balkan Insight. Serbia’s health minister said a 43-year-old male is currently quarantined in a hospital in Subotica, near the Hungarian border, where he reportedly has traveled frequently.
SLOVAKIA 🇸🇰 (1 case)
Slovakia’s prime minister said a 52-year-old male patient was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Mar 6 and is hospitalized in the country’s capital, Bratislava. The country will suspend travel to and from Italy, ban school trips abroad, and bar visitors from hospitals, according to US News & World Report.
SLOVENIA 🇸🇮 (7 cases)
The first coronavirus diagnosis in the Republic of Slovenia was confirmed on Mar 5 in a traveler from Morocco who flew through Italy. The country’s prime minister said it appears to be an imported case and it is believed that the patient became infected in Morocco, according to the government’s communications office.
SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦 (1 case)
South Africa documented its first COVID-19 case on Mar 5 in a 38-year-old patient who traveled from Italy. BBC News reported the man had traveled with a group of 10 people from Italy on March 1, self-isolated on March 3, and is now hospitalized.
TOGO 🇹🇬 (1 case)
Togo is the latest country in Africa to confirm coronavirus, as COVID-19 has begun spreading in West Africa. According to US News & World Report, a 42-year old female patient in Togo’s capital Lome was diagnosed on Mar 6, and had previously visited Benin, Germany, France, and Turkey in late February and early March.
TUNISIA 🇹🇳 (1 case)
Health officials in Tunisia confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus on Mar 2, Anadolu Agency reported. According to its health minister, the patient is a Tunisian citizen who returned from Italy last week and tested positive for the virus. Tunisia is the sixth African nation to confirm the virus.
UKRAINE 🇺🇦 (1 case)
Ukraine confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the western city of Chernivtsi on Mar 3, Forbes reported. According to the country’s health minister, the male patient traveled from Italy by plane to the Romania town of Suceava on February 26, and then on to Ukraine, Forbes reported.
VATICAN CITY 🇻🇦 (1 case)
The Vatican documented its first case of coronavirus in a patient in Vatican City’s onsite health clinic on Mar 6. In response, healthcare services at the clinic were temporarily closed for disinfection but the emergency department remained open.
What is South Korea doing differently with only .06% death rate compared to Italy with an almost 4% death rate?
Great question, Amanda. It appears that the country’s aggressive efforts to test for the virus are yielding more detected cases, allowing earlier treatment, and driving down the fatality rate, this Bloomberg article reports. It also appears the country’s previous fight with MERS-COV prompted some improved protocols. “The emphasis on diagnosis is also being credited with helping patients get treatment early, bringing the mortality rate from the virus to under 1% — below every other affected country save Singapore, where the outbreak is on a much smaller scale.”