US pass 100,000 Covid deaths

The United States has now passed 100,000 recorded deaths from Covid-19, and now have had over 1.7 million cases.

While the total number of deaths in the US is well over twice the next highest, the United Kingdom, they are only 9th highest in deaths per million population (of countries with  population greater than a hundred thousand).  Belgium is the highest but that may be in part to do with how they record Covid deaths compared to other countries.

Current models estimate deaths in a month’s time in the US to be somewhere between 111k and 173k, so it is far from over with risks of a resurgence as states relax their lockdowns.

President Trump thinks he has done his job very well dealing with Covid, or at least wants other people to think he has done very well.

Containing the virus in the US was always going to be difficult with the amount of international travel to and through the country.

States continue to make most of their own decisions despite Trump urging them to get things back to normal.

Covid seems to be out of control in Brazil with a climbing death rate, which looks to be under reported going by their number of cases.

The death total in Russia is surprisingly low and could be questionable.

Ways of counting cases and deaths varies in different countries so are indicative only.

5 million cases of Covid-19

The world count of confirmed Covid-19 cases has now passed five million. A big chunk (one and a half million) of those cases are in the US.

The number of cases has risen by 80-90,000 a day for  a month or more.

The death rate has slowed a little, but is still increasing by over four thousand a day, and now totals 327,000 (attributed deaths).

The Russian death total of 2,972 still looks extraordinarily low compared to the number of cases, which is the second highest in the work at over three hundred thousand.

Current totals for countries with the most cases;

An as usual Donald Trump is in the Covid news making weird claims, now suggesting that having the most cases is a ‘lead’  – Trump calls high number of cases in US a ‘badge of honour’

“By the way, you know, when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else. When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better.

So, if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, it would have far few cases, right?

Of course they wouldn’t have fewer actual cases, but the would have fewer recorded cases.

“So, I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it’s a badge of honour”.

While the US has tested more people than any other country – actually 12,807,260 according to Worldometer, but they also have nearly three times as many deaths (94,181) as the next highest country – the UK currently has 35,074.

And the US testing rate per million population is 39th highest at 38k, with some countries much higher – Iceland has a test rate of 169k, and New Zealand is ranked 28th with 49k.

The Covid problems are far from over as the latest charts from Worldometer show:

 

 

Covid-19 deaths pass 300,000 and gloomy outlooks

The total recorded Covid-19 deaths has now passed 300,000 and is could be significantly higher than this. There are doubts that the Chinese toll of 4,600 is accurate, and while Russia has quarter of a million cases they officially have just 2,300 deaths, which seems quite out of kilter with rations in most countries.

Moscow defends reporting of low coronavirus death statistics

Russia’s high number of confirmed coronavirus cases but low number of deaths has raised questions about the veracity of the Kremlin’s reporting of the pandemic’s statistics.

But Moscow hit back on Wednesday, saying its way of counting and attributing deaths was the most accurate.

More than 60 percent of people who died in April after contracting coronavirus had their deaths ascribed to other causes, said city officials.

Of Russia’s 2,212 coronavirus deaths, Moscow, the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, accounts for 1,232.

Moscow’s department of health said Russia, unlike other countries, conducted post-mortem examinations for every death in which coronavirus was suspected as the main cause.

“Therefore, post-mortem diagnoses and causes of death recorded in Moscow are ultimately extremely accurate, and mortality data is completely transparent,” it said.

“It’s impossible in other COVID-19 cases to name the cause of death. So, for example, in over 60 percent of deaths the cause was clearly for different reasons – such as vascular failures (such as heart attacks), stage four malignant diseases, leukaemia, systemic diseases which involve organ failure, and other incurable fatal diseases.”

But:

Data released by Moscow’s city government on Friday shows that the number of overall registered deaths in the Russian capital in April exceeded the five-year average for the same period by more than 1,700. That total is far higher than the official Covid-19 death count of 642 — an indication of significant underreporting by the authorities.

A similar picture has been observed in many other countries. In neighboring Belarus, for example — where the authoritarian leader Aleksandr G. Lukashenko has rejected calls for a lockdown as “frenzy and psychosis” — the reported death rate is about 10 per million. In Mexico, officials have recorded more than three times as many deaths in the capital as the government has acknowledged.

With over 86,000 recorded deaths it looks far from over in the US.

U.S. faces ‘darkest winter’ if pandemic planning falters: whistleblower

A whistleblower who says he was removed from his government post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing on Thursday that the United States could face “the darkest winter” of recent times if it does not improve its response to the pandemic.

Hours after President Donald Trump railed against him on Twitter, whistleblower Rick Bright testified to a U.S. House of Representatives panel about readiness for the outbreak.

“What we do must be done carefully with guidance from the best scientific minds. Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged,” Bright said during his testimony.

Later on Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he had watched some of Bright’s hearing.

“To me he’s nothing more than a really disgruntled, unhappy person,” Trump said, adding that he did not know Bright.

A gloomy economic outlook too.

Seven weeks into coronavirus lockdowns, Fed has a new, darker message

One Thursday morning seven weeks ago, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made a rare appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” to offer a reassuring message to Americans dealing with economic fallout from measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

At the time, Powell said he expected economic activity would resume in the second half of the year, and maybe even enjoy a “good rebound.”

But on Wednesday, he offered a much more sober outlook.

In an interview webcast by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Powell warned here of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, tied to uncertainty about how well the virus could be controlled in the United States. “There is a sense, growing sense I think, that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like,” he said.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was similarly somber when he told lawmakers earlier this week that the country was by no means in “total control” of the outbreak.

“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control and, in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery,” Fauci said.

In New Zealand yesterday’s budget allowed for an increase of debt from 20% of GDP to 50%. Snowballing ebt is a problem worldwide.

Coronavirus to leave a legacy of unprecedented global debt

Enormous doses of stimulus spending are offering relief from coronavirus damage but their lifelong legacy of debt could seed future crises by hobbling economic growth and worsening poverty, especially in developing countries.

Central banks and governments worldwide have unleashed at least $15 trillion of stimulus via bond-buying and budget spending to cushion the blow of a global recession tipped to be the worst since the 1930s.

But the steps will pile even more debt on countries already struggling with the aftermath of the 2008-9 financial crisis — total global debt has risen $87 trillion since 2007, and governments, with $70 trillion, accounted for the lion’s share of that increase, the Institute of International Finance estimates (IIF).

This year alone may see the global debt-GDP ratio rise by 20 percentage points to 342%, the group said, based on 3% economic contraction and a doubling in government borrowing from 2019.

Money seems to replicate as easily as the coronavirus, but with no attempt to find an economic vaccine.

And more problems in the US.

Sen. Burr steps aside as Intelligence Committee chairman amid stock sale investigation

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee amid an investigation into his stock sales during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the development in a brief statement Thursday, saying:

“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation. We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”

Later, Burr confirmed that he would be stepping aside.

Suspicions arose last month after it was revealed that several senators dumped stocks prior to the coronavirus pandemic upending the global economy. The FBI reportedly reached out to Burr to discuss the sale of as much as $1.7 million in stocks.

Senate records indicate that Burr and his wife sold between roughly $600,000 and $1.7 million in more than 30 transactions in late January and mid-February, just before the market began to nosedive and government health officials began to sound alarms about the virus. Several of the stocks were in companies that own hotels.

This all makes our Covid-19 and economic problems look puny in comparison – 21 deaths and no new cases over the last three days as our lockdown is relaxed.

 

UK now second to US with Covid-19 deaths

The UK has passed Italy and is now second to the US for recorded Covid deaths. It was predicted weeks ago that the UK would end up with the highest toll in Europe.

Meanwhile New York has revealed 1,700 previously undisclosed Nursing Home deaths.

There are now more than quarter of a million deaths world-wide, with recent signs of just a slight slowing down of deaths (but cases keeps climbing at 80-90,000 a day).

Countries with more than a thousand deaths recorded (with new totals to date for 5 May GMT):

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

BBC: UK reports highest death toll in Europe

  • The latest daily reported death total for the UK (29,427) is now higher than the total for Italy (29,315)
  • The UK has reached this figure faster in its epidemic than Italy, but there are caveats to the comparison
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says there will be no “real verdict” until the pandemic is over
  • Europe’s first-known case may have emerged almost a month earlier than thought, French doctor suggests after re-testing patient

The death count in New York has been bumped up:

National review: New York Reports 1,700 More Coronavirus Deaths at Nursing Homes

New York on Tuesday announced 1,700 previously undisclosed suspected coronavirus deaths that occurred at nursing homes and adult care facilities.

The new data from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, which includes people who passed away before a lab test could confirm they had coronavirus, brings the state’s death toll from the virus to at least 4,813 since the beginning of March. That number does not include nursing home residents who were transferred to hospital before they died, causing the actual toll of the virus on nursing homes to remain fuzzy.

There are now over seventy thousand deaths recorded in the US,

BBC: A hunt for the ‘missing link’ host species

It was a matter of “when not if” an animal passed the coronavirus from wild bats to humans, scientists say. But it remains unclear whether that animal was sold in the now infamous Wuhan wildlife market in China.

The World Health Organization says that all evidence points to the virus’s natural origin, but some scientists now say it might never be known how the first person was infected.

Global health researchers have, for many years, understood how the trade in wild animals provides a source of species-to-species disease transmission. As life-changing as this particular outbreak has been for so much of the global population, it is actually one of many that the trade has been linked to.

Infectious disease experts agree that, like most emerging human disease, this virus initially jumped undetected across the species barrier.

Donald Trump keeps trying to blame a Chinese laboratory and has promised to release evidence. Others are also promoting this claim – Mike Pompeo: ‘enormous evidence’ coronavirus came from Chinese lab

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed on Sunday there is “enormous evidence” the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory – but did not provide any of the alleged evidence.

Pompeo said: “There is enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” later adding: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

But when he was reminded that US intelligence had issued a formal statement noting the opposite – that the scientific consensus was that the virus was not manmade or genetically modified – Pompeo replied: “That’s right. I agree with that.”

BBC: US allies tread lightly around Trump lab claims

UK officials believe it is not possible to be absolutely sure about the origins but point to scientific opinion suggesting the most likely scenario is that it was from a live animal market. However, they add that it is impossible to rule out the theory of an accidental release from a lab without a full investigation.

Their view echoes comments on Tuesday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said: “We can’t rule out any of these arrangements… but the most likely has been in a wildlife wet market.”

US intelligence, like other countries, has devoted extensive resources to try and understand what has been happening within China, and some of the information could be highly sensitive.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told National Geographic on Monday that he did not entertain the lab theory. The World Health Organization (WHO) also says it has not received any evidence from the US to back up the lab theory.

Intelligence may well point to China having tried to play down or hide details of the initial outbreak, although this is different from hiding the exact origin of the virus.

Trump is still trumping up claims and has reassigned his ‘miracle’ claims.

But that ignores the more important comparison of tests per population.

  • USA: 7.6 million tests (22,988 per million)
  • Germany: 2.5 million testst (30,400 per million)
  • Italy: 2.2 million tests (37,158 per million)
  • Canada: 919,000 tests (24,359 per million)
  • France: 1.1 million tests (16,856 per million)
  • Spain: 1.9 million tests (37,158 per million)
  • Belgium: 3309,552 tests (39,3632 per million)
  • UK: 1.3 million tests (19,026 per million)
  • Australia: 664,756 tests (26,069 per million)
  • New Zealand: 155,928 tests (32,335 per million)

There are 39 countries with a higher testing rate than the US.

It would be a miracle if Trump started to be honest (unless he doesn’t understand the numbers).

Fox News: Coronavirus death toll in US projected to double as restrictions ease, key model predicts

A revised mortality model predicts coronavirus deaths in the U.S. will nearly double to 135,000 through August as states continue to ease social distancing restrictions.

The grim new projection, released by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) Monday, which has helped influence the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak, has jumped up considerably from its April 29 forecast of 72,433 deaths.

the new projection coincides with an internal Trump administration forecast obtained by The New York Times that predicts the daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1. It also projects there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases every day. This is a significant jump from current numbers of roughly 25,000 new cases and 1,750 deaths each day.

Sources told Fox News that while a significant portion of the data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the projections of new cases and deaths come from modeling done at Johns Hopkins University.

When asked about the document, White House spokesman Judd Deere said: “This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting.

“This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed.”

 

 

More on Covid models

The early Covid-19 models that tried to predict possible death toll from Covid-19 in various countries received a lot of attention because numbers were large and alarming, but the worst case scenarios were based on limited data and nothing being done to stop the virus from spreading.

But a lot has been done to try to limit the death toll, and models have been continually refined, but there are still have quite wide variations due to not being sure how quickly or drastically restrictions will be lifted, and other unknowns.

Modelling is not very important in New Zealand now because we have very few new cases per day and deaths per day have been 0 for a few days and were never more than 4 a day. We still have quite tight restrictions with only gradual easing indicated, so we should be able to keep Covid deaths to not much more than they are now, at least for the next month or two.

Modelling is a bigger deal elsewhere as while the death toll in many countries may have flattened it is still quite high. For a couple of weeks now deaths have averaged around a couple of thousand a day in the US. The situation there is quite complex with different infection rates and different restrictions across various states, and some states are starting to lift restrictions.

FiveThirtyEight takes an interesting look at models, showing wide ranges in single models and differences between models looking ahead only for the next month (May).

Where The Latest COVID-19 Models Think We’re Headed — And Why They Disagree

Models predicting the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have become a fixture of American life. Yet each model tells a different story about the devastation to come, making it hard to know which one is “right.” But COVID-19 models aren’t made to be unquestioned oracles. They’re not trying to tell us one precise future, but rather the range of possibilities given the facts on the ground.

FiveThirtyEight — with the help of the Reich Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst — has assembled six models published by infectious disease researchers to illustrate possible trajectories of the pandemic’s death toll.

Forecasts like these are useful because they help us understand the most likely outcomes as well as best- and worst-case possibilities — and they can help policymakers make decisions that can lead us closer to those best-case outcomes.

And looking at multiple models is better than looking at just one because it’s difficult to know which model will match reality the closest. Even when models disagree, understanding why they are different can give us valuable insight.

The article goes on to explain each of the six models and also looks at state by state breakdowns.

What this shows us is how imprecise models are.

But the US models suggest that models from a month or so ago predicting 100-200k or so deaths may have been reasonably on track, From now a lot still depends on the success or otherwise of containing the spreading of the virus, the success in particular in keeping it out of aged care and rest homes, and the time taken to find effective treatments and ultimately a vaccine.

The current official death toll in the US is about 65,000 and if the death rate continues as at present that will reach 130-140k by the end of May. Even if on average the death rate halves it will still be over 100k by then.

Covid cases – 3 million worldwide, 1 million in USA

The number of Covid-19 cases has now passed 3 million, and US cases have now just passed 1 million, just under a third of the world total.

Note that this is just the number of confirmed cases, there will have been many more infections that haven’t been detected or included.

Total deaths are now 211,065.

Both may be levelling off but it is hard to be sure as different regions grow as others improve. There is also a risk of further regional waves, especially as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Reuters: More U.S. states ease restrictions

Georgia on Monday allowed residents to dine at restaurants for the first time in a month, as more U.S. states began easing restrictions where the coronavirus outbreak has taken a relatively light toll.

Alaska, Oklahoma and South Carolina, along with Georgia, previously took such steps, after weeks of mandatory lockdowns that threw millions of Americans out of work.

President Donald Trump and some local officials had criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for orders that enabled restaurants and theaters to join a list of businesses, such as hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors, allowed to reopen last week, with social-distancing restrictions still in force.

Even so, some restaurant owners and managers in the state capital Atlanta said they would not reopen on Monday.

There will be a lot of observation and analysis of places that ease restrictions to see whether the virus keeps tracking down or comes back again, and also to see how quickly business picks up.

Italy has outlined plans to ease restrictions from 4 May as it has recorded its lowest daily death toll in about 6 weeks.

BBC: Boris Johnson says this is moment of maximum risk

Speaking outside No 10 for the first time since recovering from the virus, Mr Johnson said “we are now beginning to turn the tide” on the disease.

He said lockdown would not be relaxed too soon and details on any changes will be set out over the “coming days”.

BBC:  Coronavirus ‘currently eliminated’ in New Zealand

New Zealand says it has stopped community transmission of Covid-19, effectively eliminating the virus.

With new cases in single figures for several days – one on Sunday – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated.

But officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases.

ABC Australia: How Australians feel about the coronavirus crisis and Scott Morrison’s response

The coronavirus pandemic has made Australians more anxious, more confused — and a lot more bored, a new survey suggests.

The COVID-19 Monitor, a new research project from Vox Pop Labs in partnership with the ABC, takes us inside the homes of Australians to reveal how they’re really feeling as they live in self-imposed exile. It finds:

  • The number of Australians reporting poor mental health has more than doubled compared to a month ago.
  • The number frequently feeling despair has more than tripled.
  • Those frequently feeling confusion is up more than five times.
  • On a more positive note, the number of Australians frequently feeling a sense of solidarity has also jumped.

Doing enough to protect from the health risk:

  • Agree 85%
  • Disagree 14%

Doing enough to protect from economic risk:

  • Agree 75%
  • Disagree 21%

New Zealand has taken similar measures to Australia, with a slightly more restrictive lockdown but with more severe policing of breaches of social distancing rules.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has reveresed his sudden aversion with press conferences, returning to the podium to make profound statements:

“There has been so much unnecessary death in this country. It could’ve been stopped and it could’ve been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago, it seems, decided not to do it that way and the whole world is suffering because of it.”

He didn’t suggest who it was, but he’s probably looking hard for a Chinese journalist with links to the Democratic Party.

Further on in his news conference he does get more specific saying his administration has launched “very serious investigations” into China’s handling of Covid-19:

President Trump says his administration has launched “very serious investigations” into China’s response to the novel coronavirus.

“And we are not happy with China, we are not happy with that whole situation, because we believe it could have been stopped at the source. It could have been stopped quickly and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world.”

Every virus could be stopped at the source, if the virus and the source could be identified before it spread.

“Nobody except one country can be held accountable for what happened”.

“Nobody’s blaming anybody here, we’re looking at a group of people that should’ve stopped it at the source.”

The US will never forget those who were “sacrificed for a reason of incompetence or something else other than incompetence”.

“They could’ve protected the whole world – not just us – the whole world”.

I wonder if Trump doesn’t want to be seen as being in any way responsible for what happened in the US.


Update

Both the increase in case numbers (69,746) and increase in deaths(4,532) on Monday (GMT) are down. While it could be a temporary post-weekend blip it could also be an encouraging sign that the worst is over, for now at least.

Deaths pass 50,000 in USA

Deaths from Covid-19 in the United States have just passed the 50,000 mark  (currently 50,243) – 24 April 2020.

A month ago they were under a thousand deaths.

They reached 10,000 deaths on 2 April.

They reached 25,000 deaths on 12 April.

This is the most recorded deaths for any country – actually it’s nearly double the deaths in Italy and will be over double in a day.

Daily deaths have been over 2,000 per day most days for the past two weeks, with 2.342 yesterday and a similar number the day before.

On Monday Trump estimates US death toll between 50-60,000

During Monday’s daily briefing, Trump and White House experts calculated that there will be between 50,000 and 60,000 deaths in the US by the end of the outbreak, “Right now we are heading to 50 thousand and according to the projections we will end up with 60 thousand by the end of the pandemic,” the US president said.

These projections differ from those given by White House Coronavirus Task Force chief Dr. Anthony Fauci a few weeks ago, when he estimated that in the worst scenario the United States could register 100,000 Covid-19 deaths.

At current rates there will be 60,000  in three or four days – before the end of the month, and there is no sign that the rate will drop significantly at this stage.

Covid is going to be a long haul for many countries, and difficult to keep it away for others.

Elderly deaths dominate Covid-19 statistics despite claims of undercounting

Elderly people. especially those with other medical conditions (most old people do) are most at risk from the Covid-19 virus, and aged care homes and hospitals have been badly hit in many countries.

And counting deaths has been controversial. Official deaths in France shot up when they started including deaths in aged care facilities as well as hospital deaths.

Similar undercounting is now being claimed in the UK – Care home deaths ‘far higher’ than official figures

The National Care Forum (NCF) estimates that more than 4,000 elderly and disabled people have died across all residential and nursing homes.

Its report comes amid calls for accurate data on virus-linked deaths.

Only 217 such care home deaths have been officially recorded in England and Wales up to 3 April.

The NCF, which represents not-for-profit care providers, said its findings highlight significant flaws in the official reporting of coronavirus-related death statistics.

It collected data from care homes looking after more than 30,000 people in the UK, representing 7.4% of those people living in one of the country’s thousands of care settings.

It said that, across those specific homes, in the week between 7 April and 13 April, there had been 299 deaths linked to coronavirus. That was treble the figure for the previous week and double that in the whole of the preceding month.

If that number was reflected across all residential and nursing homes, NCF estimated there have been 4,040 coronavirus-related deaths in care homes which are not yet included in official figures.

The official death count for the UK is currently 16,060, with only the US, Italy, Spain and France having more deaths, with deaths of the elderly.

According to Worldometer Covid totals Belgium has the highest number of deaths per capita, currently on 490 deaths per 1 million population. Spain has 437, Italy 391, France 302, UK 237 and the US 122.

Why is Belgium so high? In part possible due to how they are counting – see Why is Belgium a Europe hotspot for COVID-19 deaths?

Dr Raf De Keersmaecker, chairman of the Limburg Province Association of GPs, knows of many colleagues who have caught COVID, some ending up in hospital.

He has a firm theory on why Belgium’s death rate is so high compared to other countries – greater transparency.

He said: “We record everything. Deaths everywhere, not just in hospitals.”

And that includes deaths suspected to be from COVID but not actually tested. More of those deaths are in care homes.

Dr De Keersmaecker said: “If we think the people are dying of COVID, we count it.

“Of course, that (accounts for) the higher level of dead people in our country.

“In most countries they don’t do that. They only take deaths from the hospitals. We even have people dying at home.”

The big problem in Europe is the spread of Covid to aged care facilities.

Euronews: Care homes could be where over half of Europe’s COVID-19 deaths occur, says new study

He said: “We record everything. Deaths everywhere, not just in hospitals.”

And that includes deaths suspected to be from COVID but not actually tested. More of those deaths are in care homes.

Dr De Keersmaecker said: “If we think the people are dying of COVID, we count it.

“Of course, that (accounts for) the higher level of dead people in our country.

“In most countries they don’t do that. They only take deaths from the hospitals. We even have people dying at home.”

In Belgium, 90 percent of care homes have had confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 42 percent of the country’s deaths from the disease have come from within them.

The rate is close to 45 percent in France, which was one of the first countries to disclose the number of deaths in its care homes, Comas-Herrara said.

In Italy, her study estimates that more than 9,500 care home residents died as a result of COVID-19, or 53 percent of the country’s total death toll.

In Ireland, care homes accounted for 54 percent of deaths and more than half of the “clusters” of the virus identified nationwide.

There are no official estimates for COVID-19 related mortality in care homes in Spain, but regional data reported by the media suggests that nursing home residents account for 57 percent of deaths – the highest share among the countries studied.

In the UK, “there’s no real reason to expect the percentage to be much different” from the average found across other European countries, Comas-Herrara said.

The UK government has come under criticism for underestimating the actual toll from the virus, as the daily figures it releases only include deaths in hospitals, not nursing homes or other settings.

New Zealand is counting all deaths believed to have been from Covid. The total is currently 12 which now includes a man who died at home and was confirmed yesterday to have had Covid.


Official counts of deaths in Europe have just passed a hundred thousand (currently 101,742) and cases have just passed a million (currently 1,085,143). The latter will certainly be a lot higher with many undetected cases, but it seems the deaths could also be significantly higher as well.

Covid-19 cases, tests and deaths (per million)

Total Covid-19 cases, tests and deaths to date ordered by deaths per million of population
As at 9 April 2020 8pm GMT
– note that these totals are changing quickly

Total Tot Cases/ Total Tests/ Total Deaths/
Country Cases 1M pop Tests 1M pop Deaths 1M pop
World 1,582,135 203 94,573 12.1
San Marino 308 9,077 722 21,278 34 1,002
Spain 152,446 3,261 355,000 7,593 15,238 326
Andorra 583 7,545 1,673 21,653 25 324
Italy 143,626 2,375 853,369 14,114 18,279 302
Belgium 24,983 2,156 84,248 7,269 2,523 218
France 117,749 1,804 224,254 3,436 12,210 187
Netherlands 21,762 1,270 101,534 5,926 2,396 140
Sint Maarten 43 1,003 112 2,612 6 140
UK 65,077 959 298,169 4,392 7,978 118
Switzerland 24,046 2,778 178,500 20,625 948 110
Luxembourg 3,115 4,976 27,521 43,965 52 83
Sweden 9,141 905 54,700 5,416 793 79
Ireland 6,574 1,331 53,000 10,734 263 53
Saint Martin 32 828 2 52
USA 455,454 1,376 2,309,686 6,978 16,114 49
Iran 66,220 788 231,393 2,755 4,110 49
Bermuda 39 626 315 5,058 3 48
Channel Islands 361 2,076 1,157 6,655 8 46
Denmark 5,635 973 64,002 11,050 237 41
Portugal 13,956 1,369 140,368 13,766 409 40
Austria 13,237 1,470 126,287 14,022 295 33
Germany 115,523 1,379 1,317,887 15,730 2,451 29
Liechtenstein 78 2,046 900 23,605 1 26
Turks and Caicos 8 207 61 1,576 1 26
Monaco 84 2,141 1 25
Slovenia 1,124 541 31,813 15,303 43 21
Norway 6,160 1,136 121,034 22,326 108 20
Guadeloupe 141 352 8 20
Antigua and Barbuda 19 194 40 408 2 20
Iceland 1,648 4,829 32,663 95,718 6 18
Estonia 1,207 910 26,416 19,914 24 18
Bahamas 40 102 7 18
Martinique 154 410 6 16
Ecuador 4,965 281 19,102 1,083 272 15
Panama 2,528 586 11,776 2,729 63 15
Cayman Islands 45 685 479 7,288 1 15
North Macedonia 663 318 6,571 3,154 30 14
Canada 20,690 548 370,315 9,812 503 13
Romania 5,202 270 51,802 2,693 248 13
Isle of Man 190 2,234 1,879 22,097 1 12
Turkey 42,282 501 276,338 3,277 908 11
Dominican Republic 2,349 217 7,151 659 118 11
Bosnia and Herzegovina 858 262 6,911 2,106 35 11
Israel 9,968 1,152 117,339 13,557 86 10
Czechia 5,467 511 106,845 9,977 112 10
Barbados 63 219 655 2,279 3 10
Serbia 2,867 328 12,347 1,413 66 8
Finland 2,605 470 39,000 7,039 42 8
Greece 1,955 188 33,634 3,227 87 8
Cyprus 564 467 14,273 11,822 10 8
Albania 409 142 3,223 1,120 23 8
Guyana 37 47 145 184 6 8
Moldova 1,289 320 5,108 1,266 29 7
Hungary 980 101 27,826 2,880 66 7
Mayotte 184 674 1,100 4,032 2 7
Lithuania 955 351 32,809 12,052 16 6
Mauritius 314 247 6,730 5,292 7 6
Trinidad and Tobago 109 78 987 705 8 6
Curaçao 14 85 1 6
Poland 5,575 147 107,597 2,843 174 5
Algeria 1,666 38 3,359 77 235 5
Croatia 1,407 343 13,680 3,332 20 5
Malta 337 763 13,732 31,100 2 5
Brazil 16,474 78 63,000 296 839 4
S. Korea 10,423 203 477,304 9,310 204 4
Peru 4,342 132 39,599 1,201 138 4
Chile 5,972 312 68,353 3,576 57 3
Morocco 1,374 37 6,116 166 97 3
Armenia 921 311 5,823 1,965 10 3
Bahrain 887 521 55,096 32,379 5 3
Bulgaria 618 89 15,899 2,288 24 3
Lebanon 582 85 12,524 1,835 19 3
Montenegro 252 401 2,329 3,708 2 3
Belize 9 23 364 915 1 3
China 81,865 57 3,335 2
Australia 6,104 239 330,134 12,946 51 2
Malaysia 4,228 131 63,367 1,958 67 2
Philippines 4,076 37 24,500 224 203 2
Qatar 2,376 825 43,144 14,975 6 2
Argentina 1,795 40 14,850 329 71 2
Belarus 1,486 157 49,000 5,186 16 2
Iraq 1,232 31 30,466 757 69 2
Tunisia 643 54 9,570 810 25 2
Latvia 589 312 25,458 13,497 3 2
Uruguay 456 131 6,175 1,778 7 2
Honduras 343 35 23 2
Bolivia 264 23 591 51 18 2
Brunei 135 309 8,985 20,538 1 2
Suriname 10 17 1 2
Cabo Verde 7 13 1 2
Indonesia 3,293 12 14,354 52 280 1
Saudi Arabia 3,287 94 44 1
Mexico 3,181 25 25,410 197 174 1
UAE 2,659 269 593,095 59,967 12 1
Colombia 2,054 40 33,575 660 55 1
Singapore 1,910 326 65,000 11,110 6 1
Ukraine 1,892 43 20,608 471 57 1
Egypt 1,560 15 25,000 244 103 1
Cuba 515 45 9,410 831 15 1
Burkina Faso 443 21 24 1
Jamaica 63 21 907 306 4 1
Azerbaijan 926 91 57,371 5,658 9 0.9
Congo 60 11 5 0.9
Georgia 218 55 3,271 820 3 0.8
El Salvador 103 16 5 0.8
Liberia 31 6 4 0.8
Japan 4,667 37 61,498 486 94 0.7
Jordan 372 36 17,000 1,666 7 0.7
Paraguay 124 17 2,039 286 5 0.7
Costa Rica 502 99 6,035 1,185 3 0.6
Oman 457 89 3 0.6
Kyrgyzstan 280 43 9,618 1,474 4 0.6
Russia 10,131 69 1,004,719 6,885 76 0.5
Thailand 2,423 35 71,860 1,030 32 0.5
Hong Kong 974 130 96,709 12,900 4 0.5
Niger 342 14 4,199 173 11 0.5
Kazakhstan 764 41 59,371 3,162 7 0.4
Cameroon 730 27 10 0.4
Slovakia 701 128 21,371 3,914 2 0.4
Afghanistan 484 12 15 0.4
Togo 73 9 1,747 211 3 0.4
Gabon 34 15 1 0.4
Botswana 13 6 1,154 491 1 0.4
Gambia 4 2 1 0.4
Pakistan 4,489 20 44,896 203 65 0.3
South Africa 1,934 33 63,776 1,075 18 0.3
Sri Lanka 190 9 3,248 152 7 0.3
Venezuela 171 6 139,282 4,898 9 0.3
Mali 74 4 7 0.3
India 6,725 5 177,584 129 226 0.2
New Zealand 1,239 257 51,165 10,610 1 0.2
Kuwait 910 213 1 0.2
Taiwan 380 16 42,315 1,777 5 0.2
Ghana 313 10 6 0.2
Palestine 263 52 16,068 3,150 1 0.2
DRC 180 2 18 0.2
Guatemala 95 5 1,134 63 3 0.2
Haiti 30 3 257 23 2 0.2
Zimbabwe 11 0.7 371 25 3 0.2
Mauritania 7 2 67 14 1 0.2
Nicaragua 7 1 1 0.2
Ivory Coast 384 15 3 0.1
Bangladesh 330 2 6,175 37 21 0.1
Senegal 250 15 2 0.1
Kenya 184 3 5,278 98 7 0.1
Libya 24 3 374 54 1 0.1
Syria 19 1 2 0.1
Uzbekistan 582 17 70,000 2,091 3 0.09
Benin 26 2 1 0.08
Myanmar 23 0.4 1,246 23 3 0.06
Angola 19 0.6 2 0.06
Somalia 12 0.8 1 0.06
Zambia 39 2 1,239 67 1 0.05
Sudan 15 0.3 2 0.05
Malawi 8 0.4 1 0.05
Nigeria 276 1 5,000 24 6 0.03
Ethiopia 56 0.5 2,790 24 2 0.02
Tanzania 25 0.4 1 0.02
Diamond Princess 712 11

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

New York currently has 360 deaths per million, and neighbouring New Jersey has 191 deaths per million (there’s a lot of people movement between the two states).

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Certain and uncertain consequences of Covid lockdown

The lockdown of New Zealand will have some obvious consequences, but other consequences are less certain.

The near isolation of most people in their homes with some exceptions and exemptions will reduce the spread of the virus in the short term at least, and should keep the death toll lower than it would otherwise have been. The longer term health outcomes are less certain, it is dependent on short term success, improvements in treatment and the time taken to develop an effective vaccine.

It is certain there will be a substantial impact on the economy and an increase in unemployment. It is unknown how bad, and for how long – we don’t know if the economy will bounce back or if we will be in for a protracted recession, or whether it will deteriorate into a depression.

Sport was a prominent early casualty of the virus, and the flow on effect will be substantial for a year or two at least. Many sports have shut down for the short term at least. The Olympic Games have been delayed by a year.

There are other certainties and uncertainties. One significant uncertainty is how long the lockdown will be in place, and if it is relaxed by how much and for how long. For example we may be allowed to go back to work but still need to limit travel around the country.

Road toll

The lockdown means far fewer vehicles on the streets and roads, and shorter trips, so the road toll will come down for a while at least. There are already signs of this – the number of deaths from 1 January to 1 April 2020 are already down slightly, being 84 (for the same period in the four previous years the toll was 90, 92, 105, 100).

Drownings

There is likely to be reduction in the number of deaths by drowning at least for the duration of the lockdown. Over the last three years total deaths have been 92, 78, 82.

Accidental and workplace deaths

Deaths in the workplace will reduce significantly while the lockdown is in place.In the year to January 2020 there were an average of 9.4 deaths per month, with 10 bin both last March and April.

Accidental deaths will probably also reduce, but they could still occur at home as people do more work on houses and rooves without being able to get scaffolding.

Suicides

It’s uncertain what the overall effect of the lockdown will have on our suicide rate.Some people will be more stressed, some will be less stressed. Being confined to home won’t stop some going out and at least trying, but the lockdown will reduce opportunities and increase contact and surveilance of at risk people.

There were a record 685 recorded suicides in the year to June 2019.

Relationships

The lockdown effect on relationships will be uneven and uncertain. Some relationships will be more stressed, some may benefit from more time together. Being confined to home during the lockdown their may be a lag in relationship breakups.

There will be less temptation and opportunity for infidelity and jealousy.

Family Time

Some parents and children will benefit from having enforced time together

Infectious and Communicable Diseases

Following on from the effect on relationships, there is likely to be less promiscuity and fewer sexually transmitted diseases.

It won’t just be the spread of Covid-19  that is limited, the lockdown will also reduce the cold, flu, hepatitis, measles and all other communicable diseases.

Schools being closed will improve the health of kids, and nits should be contained more than usual.

Other Health Issues

Along with the lockdown hospitals have geared up for treating Covid-19 patients by reducing operations and treatments. There could be a negative impact on health, which could result in more deaths from delayed or unavailable treatment and delayed diagnosis and detection of diseases.

Media

Traditional commercial media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – were already struggling and in decline. They will be severely impacted by the hit to business activity, which has taken most of their revenue away (ironically while getting a big boost in readership and audience).


This is just some of the things that will be impacted by the Covid lockdown. It will take a year or two to quantify some of the impacts, and some impacts may never be quantified.

There are some certainties but many uncertainties, and there will be both positive and negative outcomes.

We are stuck with what we have got for now, we should be doing what we can to make something out of the change in opportunities – including not grumping and grizzling too much about things we can’t change..