What the stats say


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?

La vita e bella: In Rome you can now go out and buy an espresso. Sure, the barista has a face mask on and an industrial tub of hand sanitizer nearby, but life is beginning to return to somewhere approaching days of old. Italy has seen its daily Covid-19 cases plummet to 1,000 this week from more than 5,000 in mid-March.

Daily coronavirus deaths are down below 200 from 800+ over the same period.  As reflected upon in last week’s column there is a surge of hope at seeing this sustained decline in the Covid-19 indicators, particularly in a country that was hit hardest of anywhere in Europe by the virus.  

That hope rises when surveying similar statistics for Italy’s Southern European neighbour, Spain. The country also devastated a month ago, also shows a steep decline in new cases and deaths. It’s so tempting to break out the espressos all around and say we have the virus beaten. Yet, that would be foolhardy, premature and perhaps entirely incorrect.

For it is the coming days and weeks that will define whether the virus strikes again in Southern Europe. The lifting of lockdowns and the passage of people into piazzas, cafes and hugging with loved ones – these are the proving ground for whether Covid-19 is a one hit wonder or will reinfect with a second sucker punch.

Note that we wave goodbye to China from our top 10 of countries by confirmed Covid-19 cases this week. A feat that seemed impossible a few months ago, but can- of course- be explained by Mike Pompeo as part of a nefarious plan by China to unleash the virus on the world.

Russia continues to rise up the rankings and posted three straight days of 10,000+ new cases this week. Russia has the second highest infection rate after the US. Brazil becomes the first Latin American entrant into the top 10 countries by coronavirus cases this week.  Meanwhile, the UK rises to fourth spot and with current infection rates could soon displace Italy and Spain. Bad news for me and the rest of the GHI team who are hoping to return to the office very soon.

Still, have hope from Italy and Spain is the abiding message this week. Take care.

Top 10 countries by confirmed cases of Covid-19
  1. US: 1, 204,475 (1)
  2. Spain: 219,329 (2)
  3. Italy: 213,013 (3)
  4. UK: 196,243 (5)
  5. France: 170,694 (4)
  6. Germany: 167,007 (6)
  7. Russia 155,370 (8)
  8. Turkey:  129,491 (7)
  9. Brazil: 115,953 (New entry)
  10. Iran: 99,970 (9)

Top 10 data source