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Top 5 worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world

The pandemic is not over as some places are experiencing their worst outbreaks yet

Family members react during the burial of their relative at during the coronavirus outbreak in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia.
Family members react during the burial of their relative at the special section of the Pedurenan cemetery designated to accommodate the surge in deaths during the coronavirus outbreak in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, July 30, 2021.
Associated Press

COVID-19 cases are surging across the world, predominantly driven by the highly contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates, reported CNN. In some countries, the current wave is the deadliest outbreak since the start of the pandemic.

  • Experts fear that the delta variant will lead to even more concerning variants, reported the Deseret News.

Here are some of the worst outbreaks in the world.

5. Cuba’s COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus cases in Cuba have surged in recent weeks and continue to climb as the country grapples with its worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic, per Deseret News.

  • COVID-19 cases have increased 41% in Cuba this week, per The New York Times.
  • With 81 cases per 100,000 residents, Cuba has one of the highest densities of infections in the world, according to data from The New York Times.
  • Cuba is averaging more than 9,100 new cases daily and 79 new deaths, per data from The New York Times.

The current wave in Cuba is the country’s deadliest outbreak so far, according to Our World in Data. Health care systems on the island have begun to strain under the surge, per the Deseret News.

4. Indonesia’s COVID-19 outbreak

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has overtaken India as the virus epicenter in Asia, reported CNN. This week, Indonesia’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 100,000 deaths — only the second Asian country to cross the grim milestone.

  • Last week, Indonesia had the highest average of daily fatalities in the world, per The New York Times.
  • Indonesia is averaging more than 33,800 new daily cases and more than 1,600 new daily deaths, according to data from The New York Times.

This is Indonesia’s worst wave of outbreaks by case numbers and fatalities since the start of the pandemic, according to Our World in Data. Daily deaths in the country have been steadily increasing since the end of May when experts began warning that the country was a “time bomb,” per Deseret News.

  • The health care system in Indonesia is being pushed to the brink, reported CNN.
  • Cemeteries have had to expand to bury those who died from COVID-19, per CNN.

3. Botswana’s COVID-19 outbreak

Botswana has been suffering under one of the world’s worst outbreaks for weeks, per the Deseret News. The current wave is the country’s deadliest yet, per Our World in Data.

  • This past week, Botswana’s death rate was among the worst in the world, per data from The New York Times.
  • With 99 cases per 100,000 residents, Botswana has one of the worst outbreaks per capita in the world, according to data from The New York Times.

The southern African country averaged more than 2,269 new daily cases — a 38% increase — and 19 new daily deaths this last week, reported The New York Times. As the delta variant spread through the country with a vaccination rate of only 5.4%, the health care system has been pushed to the brink and conditions have become dire, per the Deseret News.

2. Georgia’s COVID-19 outbreak

The East European and Central Asian country of Georgia has seen coronavirus cases and deaths explode in the last two weeks. The surge has been driven by the delta variant, reported News Europe.

  • With 88 cases per 100,000 residents, Georgia’s outbreak is one of the highest per capita in the world, according to data from The New York Times.
  • In the last week, cases in Georgia increased by 78% and averaged more than 3,200 new cases daily, per The New York Times

Georgia has not implemented any new lockdowns, per News Europe. Due to limited supplies, vaccination remains limited with only 12.7% of the population partially vaccinated.

  • Hospital beds have begun filling up about 5,000 of the country’s 8,000 COVID-19 beds already full, per News Europe.
  • Georgia’s death rate this past week was among the worst in the world, per data from The New York Times.

1. The United States’ COVID-19 outbreak

By the absolute number of cases, the U.S. is currently experiencing the worst outbreak in the world. Last week, new infections in the U.S. averaged more than 100,000 cases per day, the highest average in the world, according to data from The New York Times.

  • Cases in the U.S. have increased 119% this past week, per data from The New York Times.
  • The U.S. also ranks near the top for average daily deaths last week with an average of 438 deaths per day, according to The New York Times.

The current U.S. outbreak has been driven by the delta variant and surged through unvaccinated communities, per CBS News. Health experts have warned that cases will continue to rise in the U.S. for the next two to three weeks, per Science Magazine.