What the stats say


GHI reviews the latest Covid-19 data released by the World Health Organization, governments and aviation analysts over the past week. Which countries have seen a rapid rise in cases? Are there areas where the pandemic is starting to plateau and what does that tell us?

A meagre 106 doesn’t sound like a lot of cases when you look at the global chart of coronavirus incidents showing more than eight million. Yet the one hundred or so infections surfacing in Beijing over the past week have struck dread into the heart of those who were hoping the world was beginning its convalescence from the virus.

Chinese authorities have described the incident as “extremely severe” and immediately reintroduced lockdown measures to curtail the spread. The country has also stepped up testing and track and trace activity as it looks to pull the reins on a potential second wave.

Speculation is rife on the source of the outbreak with discussion that it was reintroduced to China from abroad. Authorities tracked the outbreak to a wholesale food market (sounds familiar) where samples of the virus were identified on a chopping board used for imported salmon. A theory later played down by WHO. The world watches on with trepidation.

Several thousand miles away, New Zealand had jubilantly been declared Covid-free last week. It lasted just a week though as two travellers from the UK tested positive for the virus while visiting a terminally ill relative. The duo were excused quarantine on compassionate grounds and came into contact with more than 300 others. New Zealand has launched an extensive track and trace exercise to rid itself of the virus for a second time.

India surpassed the UK this week as the country with the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. Its daily death toll skyrocketed from 395 on 15 June to more than 2,000 the next day.

Brazil’s daily case rate is the highest in the world with nearly 40,000 fresh occurrences on a single day this week. The South American nation is set to record more than a million cases of Covid-19 in the next few weeks, only the second country in the world to pass the million mark.

Does anyone else need some good news after all that? Me too. So, let’s finish with news that a vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford in the UK could provide protection from Covid-19 for around one year and be available from October. A third and final phase of clinical trials is underway.

Top 10 countries by confirmed cases of Covid-19
  1. US: 2,137,731 (1)
  2. Brazil: 923,189 (2)
  3. Russia: 544,725 (3)
  4. India: 354,065 (5)
  5. UK: 299,600 (4)
  6. Spain: 244,328 (6)
  7. Italy: 237,500 (7)
  8. Peru: 237,156 (8)
  9. France: 194,347 (9)
  10. Iran: 192,439 (New entry)
Top 10 data source