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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

131,296 new coronavirus cases were recorded worldwide on Wednesday, per data from the World Health Organization.

By the numbers: Compare that to 87,729 one month ago, or 4,589 on March 11 — the day the pandemic was declared. 51.9% of new cases are being recorded in the Americas, while Europe's share of new cases is down from nearly 80% in mid-March to 13.3%.

No COVID-19 here

Zero new cases were reported Wednesday in Tanzania and Nicaragua, two countries that seem intent on ignoring the virus until it goes away. Likewise in Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza has died, possibly of coronavirus, there are no new confirmed cases.

  • Other countries reporting zero cases include South Sudan and Libya, fragile states that are hardly conducting testing.
  • More than a dozen Caribbean islands that are now deciding whether and how to open their borders to tourists also recorded zero cases. So did Costa Rica.
  • European members of the no-new-cases club included Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • The largest member of the club is Vietnam, which has a population of 96 million, but hasn't had a single confirmed death from the coronavirus.
Hardest-hit countries

539.5 cases per million were recorded in Qatar, in a rolling average of the past three days, making its outbreak the world's fastest-growing as a proportion of the population.

  • Other countries with particularly fast-growing outbreaks include Brazil, Chile, Peru and Panama, along with Armenia, Belarus and several Gulf states.

829 deaths per million make Belgium the hardest-hit country to date as a proportion of the population.

  • The U.K. (598), Spain (580) and Italy (561) also have among the highest death rates, as does the U.S. (335), which has by far the largest overall death toll at 111,620.
Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals
Places to watch

9,971 cases were recorded in India, the third-most in the world after the U.S. (28,918) and Brazil (27,075).

Unknown: That's the total number of cases and deaths recorded in Brazil, according to Brazil's Health Ministry.

  • They were reportedly removed from the ministry's website on the orders of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has suggested the count is artificially high.
  • The government now says it will release data that better reflects reality. That's leading to fears of a cover-up.
The jobs question

6.6% was the unemployment rate in the EU as of April (the most recent data), up just 0.2% from before the pandemic and less than half the rate in the U.S. (13.3%).

  • That's because EU governments have been paying big chunks of workers' salaries to protect their jobs during lockdowns. More than 40 million people are enrolled in such programs, per the FT.
  • The big questions is how many of the jobs that have been saved will still exist post-pandemic.
  • The World Bank projects a 5.2% contraction in global GDP in 2020.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Sep 16, 2020 - Health

CDC director suggests face masks offer more COVID-19 protection than vaccine would

CDC director Robert Redfield suggested in a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that face masks are "more guaranteed" to protect against the coronavirus than a vaccine, citing the potential for some people to not become immune to the virus after receiving the shot.

What he's saying: "These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings. I've said if we did it for 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks, we'd bring this pandemic under control," he said.

Facebook, Instagram attach "false information" stamp to Tucker Carlson coronavirus clip

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Facebook and Instagram have placed a ”False Information” label on a post from the Fox News show "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in which Carlson interviews Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist, who has previously claimed the coronavirus "is not from nature," on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Facebook has made headlines in recent months for taking increasing action on posts from politicians and political groups containing misinformation. It's added fewer labels to high-profile media companies, which is what makes this label noteworthy.