Sunday, 17 May 2020

Daily COVID-19 charts of selected countries

UPDATED 12-08-2020

This post is charting the progress after the first coronavirus peak in Europe. 

For information on COVID-19 gleaned during the first COVID-19 peak -see post "State of Covid-19, caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus, on 16th May 2020" available here

USA figures are from their CDC (Centre for Disease Control). Up to the 15 July, the CDC received data from hospitals directly. The White House issued instructions on the 14 July that hospitals were now to use a new system and send patient coronavirus data directly to the White House Health and Human Services, bypassing the CDC, though the data should be passed on from them to the CDC. I will therefore be checking CDC data with that of Johns Hopkins University ( and the Worldometer ( to see if there is a divergence following the White  House taking direct control of hospital coronavirus data. Note that the data from CDC to date seems to lag several days behind the figures given by John Hopkins and the Worldometer.

UK figures from UK Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, Global and other EU data from WHO situation reports.

Initially,  the most amazing and reassuring feature of global cumulative cases was that we were seeing a linear increase in numbers, rather than the exponential one in the early days. This has changed as COVID-19 cases accelerate again globally. Figures 1 and 2 show a normal plot of cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths, and a logarithmic plot to base 2 which makes it easier to compare the numbers of both on the same chart.

Charts 1 to 5 are important because they show the number of total cases over time for the world and for selected countries, which are large and remarkable. Cumulative global cases to date pass the 10 million mark: 20,162,474; cumulative global deaths due to COVID-19 to date: 737,417.

Figures 1 and 2 appear to suggest that the number of cases is increasing at a faster rate again, doubling every 10 weeks. The Americas and Africa are particularly affected.

Figure 1. Linear plot of both cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths

Figure 2. Logarithmic plot of both cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths

Most of the cases up to May were in Europe and then the USA. The USA had so many more cases than any other country, that it had to be plotted on its own as in figure 3. There was some control of the disease, just not enough to shut it down before it began to accelerate again as the country relaxed its containment measures early. The rate is currently at about 1 million new cases per fortnight.

Figure 3. Cumulative COVID-19 cases in the USA.

The UK shows a similar linear plot to the USA initally, though at a 5 fold lower level. It then flattened off off. The sudden dip in UK figures has been due to a recalculation of the number of cumulative cases. This contrasts with the other western EU countries which transitioned from exponential increase to gradual slowdown fairly early on. Russia, a late-comer to the epidemic, showing a steep exponential increase and then starting to transition to a slowdown.

Figure 4. Cumulative COVID-19 cases over time for France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom. The UK dip is due to recalculations of UK cases.

Figure 5 shows the six countries in a logarithmic plot.

Figure 5. Logarithmic plot of cumulative COVID-19 cases over time for France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom,

The next two charts are key to showing whether countries have managed to gain control over the COVID-19 epidemic. What we all want to see is that the number of new cases per day is decreasing. The day to day data varies quite a bit. To even out the curve to see the underlying trend, I plot the  average of the values for the 7 days including the most recent day. 

Figure 6. shows the atypical USA data which reached its second peak of nearly 70,000 new cases per day and at last has begun to decline. Compare this with selected European countries with declining numbers of new cases per day for the past few months. 

Figure 6. 7 day average of new daily cases in the USA, and selected European countries, showing the slow decline beginning from a peak in mid-April. The US reached a second peak in of nearly 70,000 cases per day and is now thankfully declining

Looking at how the different European countries got their epidemics in control, the UK stands out compared to the other western European countries by having a long plateau for over a month before new cases clearly began to decrease - see figure 7.  Russia's decline in cases slowed down and settled at a new level, before starting to decline again. New cases in the UK have decreased closer to those in other European countries. Although the recorded new cases in the UK have nudged below 500 per day, estimates are that the actual figure is likely to be 1,400 per day. There is a worrying hint of an upward trend again in the UK, France and Germany, as well as Belgium (not shown)

The current strategy is to identify new hot spots early and damp them down by reinforcing local lockdowns until they pass.

figure 7. 7 day average of new daily cases for selected EU countries, Russia and the UK. After reaching a low, France, Germany and possibly the UK are showing an increase in new daily cases again.

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