Here's how the coronavirus in Canada compares to other countries


Canada just saw its 600th case of COVID-19 as of March 18 with the announcement of 23 new cases in Ontario, though the pandemic that has shut down schools, borders, and flights had been seen throughout the world well before case numbers began to climb in North America.

First detected in Wuhan, China on December 29, 2019, the virus has hit hardest in China (80,894), Italy (35,713), Iran (17,361), and Spain (13,910) as of March 17, according to Worldometers.

China broke 600 cases on January 23, Italy on February 27, Iran on March 1, and Spain on March 8, meaning these countries are 10 or more days ahead of where Canada is at today.

While no two countries can ever be directly compared — population density, cultural customs, and speed of government responses are all factors that impact how quickly a virus can spread — taking a look at other countries could give us a bit of an idea of what is ahead for Canada.

Looking at Spain in particular, which, of the four countries, is the closest to Canada’s total population (37.6 million) with 46.6 million people, finds that a significant increase in coronavirus cases came in the days following March 8 — jumping from 674 cases to nearly 8,000 throughout the following week.