By Jon Hay 03 Apr 2020
UPDATED 3 April 2am GMT Over 1m people have now been infected with coronavirus, as the disease has grown exponentially. Nearly 250,000 of these are in the US, which now has three times as many cases as China has had.
Germany has joined the list of countries, behind the US, Italy and Spain, which have had more cases than China. Yet there have been only 1,100 deaths in Germany, compared with three times as many in China.
Spain is likely to overtake Italy’s total number of cases in the next day or two. It had 8,100 new cases on Tuesday, similar to the rate over the past eight days.
On Thursday, Italy is still managing to hold daily new cases in the 4,000 to 5,000 range. Before that, the averages were higher. Our graphs now show the number of confirmed new cases on the most recent day (or two days, in the case of the most up to date reporting countries), compared with the averages for each of the three most recent four day periods.
France’s figure keeps moving up and down; Thursday’s was lower than usual at 2,200. In the UK, however, the trend is firmly upwards: it has added over 4,000 new cases on each of the past two days.
In the US, the rate of new infections continues to accelerate, having topped 30,000 for the first time on Thursday. 25,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The long-feared breakout of the disease in India has begun, with over 500 new cases on Wednesday.
Death rates (see table below) suggest that Italy, Spain and the UK have many more cases than they have been able to confirm and report.
Data updated with help from Johan Lai
Main sources: national health services, World Health Organisation
|New cases on Apr 1|
|South and southeast Asia||149|
The varying death rates are also significant.
As this chart shows, South Korea, which has tested very extensively and brought down the spread of the disease, is likely to have done a good job at detecting most of the infections on its territory. Evidence for this is the low percentage of positive tests, 2.4%. The death rates in Korea are 1.6% of all cases and 2.9% of resolved cases – those that have ended in either recovery or death.
In the US, by contrast, roughly 75% of tests have been positive, suggesting that there is a great quantity of undetected cases. The death rate as a percentage of reported cases is still low at 1.7%, but this is because the outbreak is so new in the US. Soon it will rise, reflecting the fact that only the severer cases have been identified.
In Europe, Germany appears to have a track record similar to Korea’s, although the disease has spread much more widely. The death rate among resolved cases is very similar to Korea’s. Deaths as a share of cases is even lower, possibly because the outbreak is newer in Germany.
Italy, Spain and the UK all have much higher death rates so far, which may reflect a combination of overstretched healthcare systems and under-reporting of cases, because of under-testing.
|Total tests||Total cases||Total deaths||Total cured||Cases as % of tests||Deaths as % of cases||Deaths as % of resolved cases (deaths+cured)|
Data as of 29 March.
*GlobalCapitalestimate because data for last seven days are incomplete. Reported figure is only 133,000.
**Johns Hopkins Univ figure for 30 March
|Rationale for analysis|
The coronavirus is being fought by individual countries, using their own government resources and health systems. What matters is therefore the disease’s progress in each country. There is little read-across from one to another because each will have different success at controlling the disease.The most important trend is therefore whether each country is succeeding in slowing the rate of spread of the disease. Global and regional averages are of little use, because, for example, a big decline in cases in one country could mask worsening conditions in another.GlobalCapitalhas prepared these graphics, using national and World Health Organisation data. They show the number of new confirmed cases each day. We have averaged groups of days to make the trends easier to see.
The graphs cover 19 of the countries with the most cases so far, plus India. We have included India because of its huge population and the grave risk of rapid transmission if the disease takes hold there, as it has begun to do. There are now cases in 185 countries and territories.
We will update the graphics as new information emerges.
By Jon Hay 03 Apr 2020