Created on 06 Mar 2020 ;    Modified on 30 Mar 2020 ;    Translationitalian

Time trend of Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in the world

Nota. Data updated at 2020-03-30.

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 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, Mondo


Instead, the following graph shows the trend of the overall cases, starting from February 20, 2020. In this way it is possible to better observe the trend in the latter period.

COVID-19, Mondo, senza la Cina

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

Summary of situation on 2020-03-30

Hereafter a summary of the situation about the twenty most hitted countries at the uate date of this article. Total positive cases, deaths and ratio between deaths and total positive cases are reported.

situation of twenty most hitted countries on 2020-03-30
date cases death death/cases country
2020-03-30 143025 2509 0.01754 United States of America
2020-03-30 97689 10781 0.11036 Italy
2020-03-30 82463 3311 0.04015 China
2020-03-30 78797 6528 0.08285 Spain
2020-03-30 57298 455 0.00794 Germany
2020-03-30 40174 2606 0.06487 France
2020-03-30 38309 2640 0.06891 Iran
2020-03-30 19522 1228 0.06290 United Kingdom
2020-03-30 14274 257 0.01800 Switzerland
2020-03-30 10866 771 0.07096 Netherlands
2020-03-30 10836 431 0.03977 Belgium
2020-03-30 9661 158 0.01635 South Korea
2020-03-30 9217 131 0.01421 Turkey
2020-03-30 8813 86 0.00976 Austria
2020-03-30 6255 61 0.00975 Canada
2020-03-30 5962 119 0.01996 Portugal
2020-03-30 4256 136 0.03195 Brazil
2020-03-30 4247 15 0.00353 Israel
2020-03-30 4102 22 0.00536 Norway
2020-03-30 4093 16 0.00391 Australia

Some remarks

As of the writing date of this article (20 March 2020) I 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.

Update on March 26 2020. I added the data table related at the update date. With the 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. End of update on March 26 2020.

And some considerations

This pandemic has made it clear more than ever that "the whole world it is a village". This old proverb wanted 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, and an increasingly connected world, and trade with everyone. But ... let's get 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.