Sunday, March 14, 2021

14/3/21: COVID19 Update: U.S. vs EU27 comparatives

 Previous posts covered updates for Covid19 pandemic stats:

In this post, let's take a look at the U.S. vs EU27 comparatives (some of these were touched upon in the previous posts).

So, five charts and a table. Starting with weekly cases:

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has experienced three waves, against the EU27's two. The EU27's 2nd wave appears to have crested in week 45 of 2020, while the U.S.' current wave continued to rise through week 1 of 2021. 

Over the last 4 weeks, however, the U.S. case counts have been running 783,315 lower than those of the EU27 on cumulated basis. Furthermore, starting from week 8 of 2021, there is some early evidence of a potential Wave 3 starting in the EU27.

Weekly death counts are harder to interpret:

The trend in EU27 Wave 2 deaths counts indicates significant decline from the relatively flat peak that run from week 48/2020 through week 5/2021. The decline, however, only takes the EU27 back to the average of weeks 44 and 45 - the phase of rapid acceleration in Wave 2. The rate of decline has fallen dramatically in the last two weeks.  

The U.S. data is extremely volatile, but the peak of Wave 3 can be timed to week 7/2021, with plateau around the peak running weeks 1/2021-7/2021.

Cumulated deaths per capita trend:

  • Since the start of Wave 2 in the EU27 (Wave 3 in the U.S.), EU27 deaths per capita have been converging with those in the U.S. through week 48/2020.
  • From week 1/2021, U.S. deaths per capita started once again to diverge from those in the EU27.
  • In the latest data, week 9 of 2021, U.S. excess deaths (population size adjusted) relative to the EU27 stand at 108,676, down from a peak of 117,345 in week 7 of 2021.
Mapping U.S. excess mortality compared to the EU27 and Europe:
  • In highly simplified terms, the U.S. pandemic experience has been associated with a cumulative excess mortality, compared to the EU27 and Europe of between 108,676 and 182,892 cases, respectively, based solely on differences in population sizes.
  • If older European and EU27 demographics are factored in, these excess U.S. deaths rise to 121,718 and 210,326, respectively.
  • Both gaps have now resumed their rise, despite more robust vaccination strategy in the U.S.
The above figures are striking. In Vietnam War, the U.S. carried combat casualties of 47,434 and total casualties of 58,318 dead. The pandemic excess deaths toll compared to the EU27 is more than 2 times the total death toll of Vietnam War. 

Where the U.S. is performing better than the EU27 is in terms of overall mortality rate per positive Covid19 case

In both, the U.S. and the EU27, new cases have become progressively less fatal through week 34 of 2020. This is most likely accounted for by improved and earlier diagnostics and treatments, as well as by increased share of infections detected in younger patients. These effects were exhausted around week 35 of 2020.

The 2nd wave of the pandemic in the EU27 was associated with a significant initial increase in severity. A smaller increase took place in the U.S. in the 3rd wave. Overall, the most recent wave of the pandemic saw relative uplift in the EU27 mortality rate, while the U.S. mortality rate continued to decline. U.S. trend remains power-law, implying sustained decreases in mortality of new cases over time, while the EU27 trend has shifted toward a polynomial since Week 53 of 2020, implying rising risk of higher mortality, in line with the differences in the EU27 vs U.S. demographics.

Now, a summary table of key statistics:

The above is self-explanatory. The U.S. performs worse than the EU27 on all population-adjusted metrics. 

Here is the degree of relationship between deaths per 1 million population in the U.S. and the EU27 as linked to the Worldwide numbers:

Through the Wave 3 (U.S.) and Wave 2 (EU27), the relationship is effectively the same, with somewhat weaker connection between the EU27 and World rates than between the U.S. and World rates. 

13/3/21: COVID19 Update: BRIICS

Previous posts covered updates for Covid19 pandemic stats:

In this update, let's take a look at the dynamics of the pandemic in BRIICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) group of countries.

First, weekly case counts:

Brazil is leading BRIICS into what appears to be a new wave, Wave 4 of the pandemic. All other BRIICS countries are showing sustained moderation in new cases. There is also a much smaller uptick in new cases in India.

A similar picture emerges from weekly deaths data:

A summary table of per capita cases and deaths, as well as mortality rates.

One feature of the above dynamics is the state of uncertainty these highlight in the Emerging and Developing economies with respect to the recent improvements in the pandemic numbers. Sitting in the West, it is, perhaps (depending on the location) easy to slip into a state of overconfidence and complacency, as vaccines become more widely distributed and politicians trumpet the sight of 'normalcy' on the horizon. The problem with this worldview is three-fold:
  1. This pandemic will not go away until we reach - globally - levels of vaccinations and infections that deliver global 'herd immunity', which would require 90%+ immunity cover; and
  2. As long as there are large pools of the virus in the world at large, there will be higher likelihood (note: we do not know probability) of virus mutations that can render acquired immunity irrelevant, and
  3. We are currently not doing anything near enough to deliver vaccines to the countries outside the Advanced economies world.  

13/3/21: COVID19 Update: Most impacted countries

 In previous posts, I covered updates for Covid19 pandemic figures for:

  • Worldwide data:, and
  • Europe and the EU27 countries:
Now, world's worst hit countries and regions.

World's 5 worst impacted countries by the number of cases per capita (the first table above), with ranks 1 = worst:

  1. Andora
  2. Montenegro
  3. Gibraltar
  4. Czechia
  5. San Marino
The U.S. ranks 9th worst in the world - the only country with more than 100 million population. There are three countries with population over 10 million but below 100 million on the list: Belgium (15th) and Portugal (11th), plus Czechia.

World's 5 worst impacted countries by the number of deaths per capita (the second table above), with ranks 1 = worst:
  1. Gibraltar
  2. San Marino
  3. Czechia
  4. Slovenia
  5. Belgium
The U.S. ranks 12th in the world - the only country with more than 100 million population in the list of worst-impacted in terms of deaths per capita. Notably, there are two countries with population between 50 million and 99 million on the list of the worst impacted countries by deaths per capita: Italy (ranked 8th worst in the world), and the UK (ranked 6th worst in the world). There are further 4 countries on the list with population over 10 million, but less than 50 million: Belgium and Czechia already referenced above, plus Portugal (ranked 11th), and Span (ranked 14th).

Two tables above summarize key statistics for the countries with more than 250,000 cases of Covid19 recorded. The table also provides overall rankings for these countries in terms of their performance across three metrics: cases per capita, deaths per capita and deaths per case.

Notably, ten worst countries based on these combined metrics are (once again, rank = 1 implies the worst overall performance):
  1. Belgium
  2. UK
  3. Italy
  4. Hungary (tied with Italy)
  5. Portugal
  6. Czechia
  7. Spain
  8. U.S.
  9. Bulgaria (tied with U.S.)
  10. Peru
Across major regions:

Note: in the above table, regions are ranked as countries, though countries' rankings do not include regions. Thus, if the EU27 was treated as a country, it would rank 19th worst in the list of countries. If we remove EU27 member states from the list, the EU27 itself would rank 9th worst in the list, just below the U.S. which continues to perform worse than the EU27, but only marginally. 

Finally, countries' and groups' shares of deaths relative to their share of world population:

The U.S. is the second worst performing major country with its ratio of its share of world deaths to its share of world's population standing at 4.7. The UK is the worst, with a ratio of 5.6 and the EU27 third worst with a ratio of 3.8. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

13/2/21: COVID19 Update: Europe and EU27

Updating Covid19 data for Europe and EU27 for the period through Thursday this week. In line with global data trends (covered here:, Europe and the EU27 are starting to show some tentative signs of a risk of new wave of the pandemic emerging.

  • Both Europe and EU27 have experienced two waves of the pandemic, with the second wave characterized by two key features: 1) long and slow decline in the new cases counts, lasting from the peak of the wave around Week 45 of 2020; and 2) Re-acceleration in the wave into another local peak at Week 1 of 2021 and bottoming out in Week 6.
  • Since Week 7, we are in a potential start of Wave 3, as noted in the chart above.
  • Both Europe and EU27 are indicating the bottoming out of Wave 2 around Week 9 of 2021 in terms of death counts.
  • Weekly death counts are yet to show the potential start of Wave 3 that appears to be showing in the weekly case counts data.
  • Some states in Europe use different methodologies for identifying Covid19-related deaths. During earlier periods of the pandemic, this caused significant divergence in reported mortality rates. This divergence was eliminated in the second wave of the pandemic. So far through the second wave, mortality rates in the EU27 slightly exceed those in Europe as a whole.

As noted in the table above, this week's counts of new cases are up 12% on 4 weeks-average in Europe and up 16% in the EU27. This is the worst performance for any region, save Oceania, where data quality is highly unreliable. Death counts dynamics clearly lag new cases dynamics, and it remains to be seen if the more recent uplifts in new cases do indeed mark a new wave of the pandemic.

12/3/21: COVID19 Update: Worldwide Data

Updating charts for weekly worldwide numbers covering the Covid19 pandemic, here is the data through Thursday this week:

  • In terms of case counts: there is some ambiguity in timing the waves of the pandemic, driven by the dynamics of the new cases and, to a lesser extent, deaths.
  • Globally, there is no doubt, however, that we have exited Wave 3 that started around Week 34 of 2020, peaked in Week 1 of 2021, and, it appears to have bottomed out in Week 7 of 2021.
  • The latest level of new infections remains well above Waves 1 and 2 peaks. 
  • More ominously, since Week 8 of 2021, we are seeing a potential re-emergence of a new wave, Wave 4.
  • Weekly death counts have also peaked in Week 3 of 2021, marking the end of Wave 3. 
  • However, the latest death counts are still well above peaks of Waves 1 and 2, and as is the case with new cases, last two weeks have witnessed a new uplift in the deaths counts, potentially marking the beginning of a new wave.
  • Recent decreases in mortality rate are most likely attributable to three key drivers: (1) earlier detection of cases due to improved testing; (2) younger demographics of those with confirmed infections; and (3) improved treatments in the earlier stages of the disease.
  • The decrease in mortality appears to have stabilized and slightly reversed in the first 5 weeks of 2021.

Combined evidence suggests moderation in the global pandemic has been ongoing for some time now, however, new cases are rising once again across most major regions:

The good news is, we are out of the Wave 3 of the pandemic. The bad news is, even with significant in-roads in terms of vaccinations, we are still seeing an uptick in new cases in the last two weeks.