Created on 06 Mar 2020 ;    Modified on 05 Dec 2020 ;    Translationitalian

Time trend of Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in the world

Data updated at 2020-12-05.

This article reports the temporal trend of the COVID-19 outbreak in the world according to data released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) agency publishes daily the data of the diffusion of the COVID-19 in the world.

Note. I have not checked the ECDC data for the other countries, but about Italy it reports data of the Italian Civil Protection, with a delay of 24 hours.

Grafic analysis

Below I report the graphics of the historical series of cumulative data obtained by processing data published by ECDC.

Note that these are overall data, as ECDC does not publish the number of healed, but, for every single day, only the number of new cases and deaths.

Consequently, adding the number of new cases day by day, it is possible to get only the total number of people affected by the virus.

From the ECDC data, I aggregate them about European Union Countries, then I calculate the 10 countries that have the bigger number of affected people. Below I indicate the time series of the daily totals for these ten countries, as of January 14, 2020.

COVID-19, World


Instead, the following graph shows the trend of the overall cases, starting from February 20, 2020, eliminating the data of the two most affected countries. Thereby it is possible to better observe the trend in the latter period for the countries from the third to the tenth placed among those most affected by the virus.

COVID-19, World, without the most hitted country


Finally, below, the situation for the 10 most affected countries member of the European Union. Again starting from 20 February 2020.

COVID-19, Unione Europea

The data from which the graphs are derived can be consulted at this address

Summary of situation on 2020-12-05

Hereafter a summary of the situation about the twenty most hitted countries at the update date of this article. Columns report:

  • date, the date of the day;
  • cases, the total number of cases on the indicated date: positive + healed + deceased;
  • death, the total of the deceased on the indicated date;
  • death/cases, the ratio between deaths and total cases;
  • cases/population, the ratio between the total number of cases and the population;
  • death/population, the ratio between the number of deaths and the population;
  • country, the name of the country.

In the first table, European Union Countries are bundled.

situation of twenty most hitted countries on 2020-12-05, EU Countries bundled
date cases death death/cases cases/population death/population country
2020-12-05 14371633 278996 0.01941 0.04367 0.00085 United States of America
2020-12-05 12102441 282974 0.02338 0.02709 0.00063 European Union
2020-12-05 9608211 139700 0.01454 0.00703 0.00010 India
2020-12-05 6533968 175964 0.02693 0.03096 0.00083 Brazil
2020-12-05 2431731 42684 0.01755 0.01667 0.00029 Russia
2020-12-05 1690432 60617 0.03586 0.02536 0.00091 United Kingdom
2020-12-05 1454614 39512 0.02716 0.03248 0.00088 Argentina
2020-12-05 1352607 37467 0.02770 0.02687 0.00074 Colombia
2020-12-05 1156770 108863 0.09411 0.00907 0.00085 Mexico
2020-12-05 1016835 49695 0.04887 0.01226 0.00060 Iran
2020-12-05 970860 36195 0.03728 0.02986 0.00111 Peru
2020-12-05 805804 21963 0.02726 0.01376 0.00038 South Africa
2020-12-05 787891 13195 0.01675 0.01791 0.00030 Ukraine
2020-12-05 563680 17479 0.03101 0.00208 0.00006 Indonesia
2020-12-05 560622 12387 0.02210 0.01426 0.00032 Iraq
2020-12-05 557135 15558 0.02793 0.02940 0.00082 Chile
2020-12-05 527070 14509 0.02753 0.00643 0.00018 Turkey
2020-12-05 473991 6772 0.01429 0.00291 0.00004 Bangladesh
2020-12-05 436345 8509 0.01950 0.00404 0.00008 Philippines
2020-12-05 413191 8303 0.02009 0.00191 0.00004 Pakistan


Instead, hereafter the European Union Countries are unbundled.

situation of twenty most hitted countries on 2020-12-05, EU Countries unbundled
date cases death death/cases cases/population death/population country
2020-12-05 14371633 278996 0.01941 0.04367 0.00085 United States of America
2020-12-05 9608211 139700 0.01454 0.00703 0.00010 India
2020-12-05 6533968 175964 0.02693 0.03096 0.00083 Brazil
2020-12-05 2431731 42684 0.01755 0.01667 0.00029 Russia
2020-12-05 2268552 54767 0.02414 0.03385 0.00082 France
2020-12-05 1690432 60617 0.03586 0.02536 0.00091 United Kingdom
2020-12-05 1688939 58852 0.03485 0.02798 0.00098 Italy
2020-12-04 1684647 46252 0.02746 0.03589 0.00099 Spain
2020-12-05 1454614 39512 0.02716 0.03248 0.00088 Argentina
2020-12-05 1352607 37467 0.02770 0.02687 0.00074 Colombia
2020-12-05 1156770 108863 0.09411 0.00907 0.00085 Mexico
2020-12-05 1153555 18517 0.01605 0.01390 0.00022 Germany
2020-12-05 1041846 19359 0.01858 0.02744 0.00051 Poland
2020-12-05 1016835 49695 0.04887 0.01226 0.00060 Iran
2020-12-05 970860 36195 0.03728 0.02986 0.00111 Peru
2020-12-05 805804 21963 0.02726 0.01376 0.00038 South Africa
2020-12-05 787891 13195 0.01675 0.01791 0.00030 Ukraine
2020-12-05 587336 17142 0.02919 0.05127 0.00150 Belgium
2020-12-05 563680 17479 0.03101 0.00208 0.00006 Indonesia
2020-12-05 560622 12387 0.02210 0.01426 0.00032 Iraq

Remarks

The most recent remarks precede those temporally more dated.

[June 23, 2020] It is with dismay and pain I observe the trends of contagions in the United States and Brazil. These countries are applying policies of outbreak containment very mild. And we observe the result at the relative curve of the total cases.

By now the United States has exceeded two million and three hundred thousand total cases, with over 120000 deaths. While Brazil in just over two months has exceeded one million total cases, with over 50000 deaths.

About the painful aspect of deaths. While I can think, to a certain point, the US health service may be more advanced than that of the European Union (which with fewer total cases: one million two hundred thousand, had had more deaths: over one hundred and thirty thousand), I struggle to accept the same consideration for the Brazilian health system. In this case I fear that many deaths take place outside hospitals and/or that in any case they are not diagnosed as due to COVID-19 infection.

Given the current behavior of these countries, to lessen the impacts on the economy they don't follow lockdown health policies, I'm afraid we'll see what it is going to be the effectiveness of the concept of herd immunity. I just hope the medicine will make rapid progress in developing appropriate care. Because if herd immunity will be achieved with 60% of the infected population (this was the hypothesis in Great Britain), considering the population of about 330 million people of US, we will reach 198 million total cases before to achieve herd immunity. And if the mortality will remain the current one (5.2% of total cases), the US would experience the appalling figure of around 10 million deaths.

And at this moment I am also worried about the situation in India, whose curve of the total cases get a polynomial trend with upward concavity. A sign that the lockdown policy is ineffective. Again here the percentage of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is much lower than that measured in the European Union. And even in this case I don't think the health service is better of EU health service. Furthermore, here we are talking about one billion and three hundred million people. The global impact as loss of life would be tremendous.

[June 23, 2020 - end]

[April 15, 2020] In Europe we observe that the curves of the total cases of Spain and Italy begin to flatten out. This is indicative of the fact that in these two nations the epidemic begins to slow down. Even Germany shows the same trend, while there seem to be uncertainties about efficacy of containment measures in France. In fact, we observed in this country a clear improvement a few days ago; improvement now frustrated by a decided increase in the slope of the relative curve.

Overall, the European Union shows a slight slowdown in diffusion of the virus. Instead, I still don't see clear signs of slowing down in the United States.

More than ever, I find Trump's policy schizophrenic. On the one hand, it accuses WHO of not having effectively warned of the extension of the outbreak, and withdraws American funds from it. On the other side presses to resume work, when the epidemic is still fully underway. What would he do with the warnings of WHO (which were issued a lot), if he still ignore them?

[April 15, 2020 - end]

[March 31, 2020] The speed with the US total case curve has soared is astounding. It seems the neglect with which the US (not) faced the problem has brooded the epidemic without detecting its presence for a long period of time. Unfortunately, now there are consequences. Fortunately, at least for now, with a low percentage of deaths.

The total number of cases in France has exceeded that of IRAN. The latter it is seeing a certain increase in infections, although not at the rate of the main ones European countries: Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.

Unfortunately, all deaths/cases ratios are worsening. Italy has exceeded 11%, Spagna is over 8%. IRAN and France also exceeded 6%. Only Germany has a percentage lower than 1%: I hope they manage to keep it constant.

[March 31, 2020 - end]

[March 26, 2020] I added a table with summarizing data at the update date. This table has a column showing the ratio between deaths and total number of positive cases.

The numbers in this column are conflicting. We have a mortality of 9.8% in Italy, 4% in China and 1.4% in USA. Without mentioning 0.3% of Australia or Germany or Norway.

These gaps are excessive for health systems that are qualitatively comparable. Even if you want to account for Italy an excess of the population in old age. I am convinced that here we have different data census criteria. Both for define the positivity to the disease, which for the cause of death.

And I am convinced that the first thing to do is to impose a standard of behavior among all nations. Otherwise monitoring does not make sense: what has been done in a country cannot be analyzed and compared with what made in another country. For example, I insist, look at the curve of total cases of Iran; which for me is a big question mark.

[March 26, 2020 - end]

[March 20, 2020] As of the writing date of this article we observe:

  • as indicated by the constant trend of the China curve, this country is in a post-epidemic management phase; the new ones cases are very small, and largely, or totally, due to contagions of people from abroad;
  • in Italy the infection is still in full development, as shown by the accentuated slope of the relative curve;
  • just as Spain and as USA are in full diffusion; these even seem to have epidemic expansion rates higher than Italy;
  • Korea is a surprise, because it has managed to contain quickly the expansion of the virus; from this country we would have to learn; it would not be bad to ask them for advice;
  • Iran is strange; its curve, after the first trend polynomial (as usual), has now flattened similarly to a straight line; sign that the ongoing activities to fight outbreak are quite effective even if they can't completely block the virus from spreading; this too would be a case from which to learn something.

[March 20, 2020 - end]

And some considerations

This pandemic has made it clear more than ever that "the whole world is a village". This old proverb wants to highlight as certain behaviors are observable in all people. But now it can mean literally: travel for pleasure or work weave a spider web that envelops all humanity in the world.

In my opinion it is no coincidence that in Italy the diffusion took place in the most industrially active regions: Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto. They are the regions that have had the most contacts with industries in China, where the first diffusion took place.

Warning, I'm not saying it's fault of China, or that one should not trade with it. I am convinced that one new epidemic could have developed in any other country in the world. And if this country had been industrially active (examples: Germany, France, USA, Brazil, UK, Italy, ...) then would be happened exactly what we are experiencing now: from the country in question (nation zero :-) would have spread to an industrial partner (nation one ...) and then from here spread to the rest of the world.

So what must we do? Must we stop the trips, and bring the world back to a Middle Ages made of feuds whose borders could be crossed only for very serious reasons? (do we remember the film We have just to cry of Benigni and Troisi? The tax collector who asked: "Who are you? What are you wearing? How many are you? A florin!").

Whatever Trump says, I don't think that's a good idea. Also because at that time famine and disease were reaping victims, and I am convinced that it was precisely because of the misery of physical resources and knowledge imposed by this fragmentation which prevented mutual help and knowledge.

In a communication course that I attended some time ago, the teacher start her teaching saying, "When you talk to someone, remind yourself: his (or her) difference is your wealth."

This concept is central. Through the differences between people we discover new ways of looking at things. And every time we discover something, the horizons widen, improving ourselves and those around us. Expanding ours ability and those of our neighbor.

So I think: travel is welcome, as an increasingly connected world, and trade with everyone. But ... we need to be ready!

In 2015 a person, such Bill Gates, in one of his exposure to TED said to be convinced that the greatest risk to humanity is the possibility of a pandemic. On that occasion Bill Gates proposed to organize the world with a model health care which can react quickly around the world to counter effectively an epidemic. And he concluded his speech saying "if we start (to prepare) now, we can be ready for the next epidemic".

We didn't prepare. And now we pay the consequences, in economic terms and, above all, of lost of lives.

From all this, will we be able to learn?

To finish: how do we get out? More than ever with a common effort. It is necessary pool the resources of the different countries to bring them together where they are needed more. I hear of people getting upset because they think that tampons product in Italy were supplied to the USA. But, in turn, we Italians, did not scruple to buy sanitary ventilation systems from Germany. An so? I insist, it is not by closing ourselves in our shield that we will come out without harm. Well do the European Union if really it is going to organize a reserve of sanitary materials to be used in countries with greater needs.