What the stats say

3/25/2020

GHI reviews the latest Covid-19 data released by the World Health Organization, governments and aviation analysts over the past week. Which countries have seen a rapid rise in cases? Are there areas where the pandemic is starting to plateau and what does that tell us?

With so much doom and gloom on the 24-hour news feeds – let’s start with some much-needed cheer for all the optimists out there. The number of confirmed cases in China and other parts of Asia appears to have stabilised.

From reporting a thousand new cases a day a month ago, China appears to have stopped the outbreak in its tracks. The country has claimed a near zero transmission rate with overall active cases hovering around the 81,000 mark according to tracking data. Hubei Provence has lifted travel restrictions for the first time in months. Wuhan City remains locked down, but there are suggestions of a relaxation of lockdown rules in April.  

South Korea has also drawn plaudits for slowing the pandemic. The nation is rapidly dropping out of the top 10 of countries with the most reported cases thanks to a stringent Covid-19 testing regime, which helps identify and isolate the people who suspected carriers have had close contact with while in the transmission phase.  The number of new cases per day has fallen from 900+ in February to 70 and falling in March.

Feeling better? Okay, well steel yourself for the more downcast side of the Covid-19 numbers this week. Europe has been reeling under ever increasing daily death tolls from the virus with Italy at the forefront of the pandemic. Italy at 6,820 fatalities has now recorded more than double the number of deaths from Covid-19 than China with a population twenty-four times smaller. Spain, France, Germany and the UK have all seen their incidence and fatality tallies soar with Europe retaining its unwelcome status as the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whether that remains so by next week will be one to watch as the US climbs to third in the world rankings of most cases with 55,225 confirmed cases.

Still, Donald Trump has stated that he hopes the US will shake off the pandemic by Easter in mid-April. That’s one piece of news that we all hope against hope isn’t fake.

Top 10 countries by confirmed cases of Covid-19

1.       China: 81,637 (1)

2.       Italy: 69,176 (2)

3.       US: 55,225 (6)

4.       Spain: 42,058 (4)

5.       Germany: 33,593 (5)

6.       Iran: 24,811 (3)

7.       France: 22,637 (7)

8.       Switzerland: 9,991 (9)

9.       South Korea: 9,137 (8)

10.   UK: 8,164 (10)

*Brackets indicate position last week

Top 10 data source: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0IdoZxK2HMYAnuB5aWb45zL8R9AaJMc-WxoPKpNSYlZabVbJvgP7vixis#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Other sources and further reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/25/chinas-premier-warns-local-officials-not-to-cover-up-new-covid-19-cases-as-hubei-reopens

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/how-south-korea-flattened-its-coronavirus-curve-n1167376

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52029546