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:

 

 

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.”

 

 

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/

Covid-19 testing criteria expanded to boost number of tests

The number of tests being done for Covid-19 has been an issue in many countries, including here in New Zealand.

This came up in the first day of operation of the Epidemic Response Committee in Parliament.

Newshub: Sir David Skegg urges Government to show clear plan to eliminate COVID-19

Professor Sir David Skegg, an epidemiologist from Otago University, appeared in front of Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee on Tuesday.

He said the Government did well to put in place early border restrictions and raise the national alert level to 4 but that it appears to lack a concrete, long-term strategy to stem the spread of COVID-19.

With the Government assuming the majority of those infected would have links to overseas travel – and therefore focusing its testing on them – it was hard to gauge the true extent of community transmission, he said.

“The actual number of people who have been infected will be far higher than the 589 notified and we really have no idea of the extent of community spread,” said Sir David.

“I’m afraid that only complacency can have allowed our authorities to imply that the virus would behave differently here than everywhere else.”

The number of tests done here has increased substantially over the last week (currently averaging 1,777 per day over a week) with a total of 21,384 done to date. The criteria for tests is to be loosened so more tests are done.

Newsroom: More testing needed, Ardern says

The number of tests for coronavirus is set to ramp up, with health officials relaxing the testing criteria as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for more testing to be done.

The matter was at the fore during the inaugural meeting of the epidemic response committee earlier on Tuesday, where Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield indicated a change was coming.

Now, Ardern has confirmed the technical advisory group overseeing the case definition of Covid-19 had agreed to expand it to include people who had symptoms potentially indicative of the virus, but without a link to overseas travel or a close contact who had tested positive.

The new advice would be circulated to Healthline, GPs and community clinics, with the Prime Minister expressing a desire to see testing levels ramp up further.

“I want more tests, we’ve built the capacity for more tests, more tests will only allow us to get a better picture of the spread of Covid-19.”

However, she pushed back when asked why the Government had not made such a change earlier, saying New Zealand had already been conducting a high level of tests relative to other countries.

The more tests the better the data to with which to model and base decisions on, but so far with a very low death rate (still just 1) it appears there hasn’t been a critical shortage of tests done.

Wider testing will be needed to determine just how much community spread there is  and where in the country there are problems as we get towards the end of the 4 week lockdown period and decisions will presumably be made on whether the alert level is reduced and restrictions eased, either countrywide or regional.

Skegg:

Suppressing the virus was only the first step in eradicating it, he said, adding that it was “worrying” the Government wasn’t clearly talking about eliminating it completely.

“A lockdown on its own is not enough. It’s like pressing the pause button on your device.”

Tackling a virus of this kind took a willingness to be transparent and change tactics when necessary, he said.

“If elimination cannot be achieved, when and how will we know that? And what will be the next goal? Those are the kinds of things I would expect to see in a strategy document”.

The Government and their health advisers will have been very busy but there is obviously a lot more work to do still.