I downloaded the latest COVID-19 data for reported deaths and confirmed cases from Johns Hopkins this morning to see whether the data supports the relaxation of social isolation that is starting to happen in many countries. The USA now has 1.35 million confirmed cases (just under 1/3 of the global total) and 80,323 deaths (28% of the global total) and the trends are quite different for New York and the rest of the USA, as shown in the plot below. So I have done separate plots for New York and USA excluding New York in the following plots.
The plots below show smoothed death rates (per million) and case rates (per 100,000) up to 9 May using simple moving averages. Inspired by some plots on www.endcoronavirus.org I’ve organized the countries into three groups: those who have controlled the epidemic, those who are partway there (deaths are coming down, but not yet approaching zero) and those that need to take further action to turn things around. I excluded countries with population less than 1 million.
There are many more deaths and cases than recorded in this dataset. For countries with good data systems, excess deaths in the last two months is around 50 to 60% higher than confirmed coronavirus deaths, and the under-reporting is almost certainly much higher in most developing countries. However, these data probably provide a reasonably indication of the epidemic trends, at least in countries with reasonable testing levels and good data systems.
The final graph shows the top 20 countries in terms of deaths per million population, and their epidemic status. As to whether I’ve grouped the countries appropriately, there are a number where its debatable which group they should be in, and a few days more data may clarify what progress is occurring.