COVID-19: Where are we now?
Five months into 2020 and the COVID-19 numbers keep growing. The world has recorded over 6.2 million cases and this number is likely low as some countries, like Brazil and India, have done limited testing. 4,378/Million in Brazil and 2,710/Million in India. By comparison USA is over 52,000/M, UK – >61,000, Italy – >64,000, Russia – 73,000 and Spain – 76,000. This is further amplified by Brazil having 50% of its tests resulting in cases. The closest major country that I follow is Sweden at 15%. As has been touted by many medical personnel, testing is the key to track and trace infected people for a safer return to the new normal.
A review of cases by million is the only way to compare countries of varying sizes. As shown in the slide below Spain is the highest at just over 6,000 cases per million with the USA is closing the gap at almost 5,500 and its curve is trending up while Spain is flattening the curve. Overall in Europe the curves are flattening with the exceptions being the UK and Sweden both which should exceed 4,000/M this week. Two recent exponential growths in cases are Russia and Brazil. Brazil is likely much higher given its limited testing. Both Brazil and Russia are a month behind the other major countries and soon should be catching up to Sweden and the UK this month. Surprisingly Japan cases are low which may be in part be due to its limited testing at just under 2,300 per million. It may also be due to the cultural norm being the wearing of masks when someone is not well or do it as a normal practice.
When it comes to fatalities per million the countries that I am following fall into two groups, as shown on the chart below. Group one has 7 countries with fatalities over 300 per million. This goes from Spain at 580, the UK at over 560 and Italy at 550. This followed by France at 440, Sweden at 430. The Netherlands is just under 350 and the USA at just under 320. Canada is the highest in the balance at almost 190 but Brazil is on a steeper curve at 132. All others are under 100 but Russia is beginning to climb. Surprisingly Russia has more cases per capita than Brazil but only one quarter of the reported deaths. Is this due to under reporting by Russia or the Brazilian medical system being overwhelmed? Likely a bit of both.
One country that has climbed the ranks in cases is India and is now seventh overall with almost 190,000 cases but only 5,390 deaths or 4 fatalities per million. Again, this number is likely higher given the density of population in certain areas and cause of death is not identified. As we are finding out this virus attacks people in different ways and blood clotting and symptoms in children similar to Kawasaki disease. Also, China numbers are suspect as their total reported cases are less than Canada and fatalities at 60% of Canada even though Canada’s population is 2.5% that of China. That is why I do not include them in my report.
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Overall, various responses by governments have shown different results. Europe was hit hard early on and Spain and Italy’s medical resources were stretched but are now seeing a reduction in cases and deaths. The UK and Sweden continue to climb, and cases reported will soon be only behind the USA and Spain on a per capita basis. Soon the UK will lead all major countries on fatalities per capita and Sweden will soon be only behind Spain, UK and Italy.
With countries beginning to reopen in various ways it will be interesting to see the impact of COVID-19 in one month’s time.
Overall, stay safe and remember wearing a mask is showing respect and care to others while protecting yourself.
Alastair Neill is the President of Trinity Management, a consulting company specializing in business development activities in rare earths, specialty metals and start-up of technology-based ... <Read more about Alastair Neill>