Sunday, June 7

Checking in on how nations are coping with COVID-19

It has been some five months since the COVID-19 pandemic dawned on people's consciousness and three months since many nations went into some form of compulsory social distancing to help manage the pandemic. In this context, I thought it time to reflect on how nations have performed.

This required me to establish a benchmark for measuring success. For this I have selected four factors:
  • how bad did the pandemic get at its peak in the nation (indicated by daily new deaths and daily new cases)
  • how bad is the pandemic currently (indicated as aboved)
  • how well have nations done in reducing the pandemic from its peak (as a proportion of that peak in daily new deaths and daily new cases)
  • what is the case fatality rate for the nation (total deaths over total cases). 

The population and COVID data I used for this analysis comes from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

For simplicity, I will limit my analysis to nations with a population of at least 1 million people.

To enable comparability between large and small nations, I am going to focus on cases and deaths per million population.

As I am working with noisy administrative data, I will do the analysis based on a 14-day rolling average. This irons out the tendency in many nations to under-report on weekends. It also helps reduce the impact of data spikes when nations fess up to additional deaths or cases not previously recorded.

Because the distributions of these data can have nation-states bunched around certain data points, with long tails and outliers, I have decided the group the data into quintiles (5 equal groups), and create an index score from averaging the quintile result across the seven categories:
  • average daily new cases per capita at each nation's peak peak
  • the most recent result for average daily new cases per capita
  • the percentage decline from the peak average daily new cases per capita and now
  • average daily new deaths per capita at the peak
  • the most recent result for average daily new deaths per capita
  • the percentage decline from the peak in average daily new deaths per capita and now
  • the case fatality ratio

Before we get to the per-capita charts, let's quickly identify our top ten:
  • Top 10 current cases per million population: Qatar, Bahrain, Chile, Kuwait, Peru, Armenia, Oman, Brazil, Belarus, and Panama
  • Top 10 national peak cases per million population: Qatar, Bahrain, Chile, Kuwait, Peru, Spain, Ireland, Singapore, Armenia, and Oman
  • Top 10 current deaths per million population: Sweden, Brazil, Peru, United Kingdom, Mexico, Chile, United States, Canada, Panama, Armenia
  • Top 10 national peak deaths per million population:  Belgium, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, United States, Ecuador

The following charts show the per-million-population daily cases and deaths data for selected nations. I should note that as the cases data for Qatar is such an outlier, I have adjusted the y-scale in the other case charts where Qatar in not highlighted.

Which brings us to the score for each nation, reflected in the choropleth map at the top of this post:
Sweden                          4.857143
Mexico                          4.857143
Panama                          4.714286
Brazil                          4.714286
Moldova                         4.714286
Peru                            4.714286
Armenia                         4.571429
North Macedonia                 4.571429
Guatemala                       4.428571
South Africa                    4.428571
Canada                          4.428571
Bolivia                         4.428571
United States                   4.428571
Chile                           4.428571
United Kingdom                  4.428571
Colombia                        4.428571
Iran                            4.285714
Oman                            4.285714
Mauritania                      4.285714
Ecuador                         4.285714
Honduras                        4.142857
Kuwait                          4.142857
Saudi Arabia                    4.142857
Russia                          4.142857
Qatar                           4.142857
Portugal                        4.142857
Bahrain                         4.142857
Argentina                       4.000000
Romania                         4.000000
Egypt                           4.000000
Belgium                         4.000000
Netherlands                     4.000000
Dominican Republic              3.857143
Pakistan                        3.857143
Azerbaijan                      3.857143
Iraq                            3.857143
Ireland                         3.857143
Italy                           3.857143
Belarus                         3.857143
Puerto Rico                     3.857143
France                          3.857143
Gabon                           3.714286
Nicaragua                       3.714286
Poland                          3.714286
Afghanistan                     3.714286
United Arab Emirates            3.714286
Spain                           3.571429
Bulgaria                        3.571429
Ukraine                         3.571429
Cameroon                        3.571429
Denmark                         3.571429
Yemen                           3.571429
El Salvador                     3.571429
Turkey                          3.571429
Bangladesh                      3.571429
Sudan                           3.428571
Bosnia And Herzegovina          3.428571
Guinea Bissau                   3.428571
Haiti                           3.428571
Kyrgyzstan                      3.428571
Estonia                         3.428571
Finland                         3.428571
Austria                         3.428571
Germany                         3.428571
Mali                            3.285714
Central African Republic        3.285714
Kazakhstan                      3.285714
Philippines                     3.285714
Indonesia                       3.285714
India                           3.285714
Hungary                         3.285714
Algeria                         3.285714
Equatorial Guinea               3.285714
South Sudan                     3.285714
Lithuania                       3.285714
Israel                          3.142857
Somalia                         3.142857
Kenya                           3.142857
Switzerland                     3.142857
Czechia                         3.142857
Senegal                         3.000000
Albania                         3.000000
Slovenia                        3.000000
Liberia                         3.000000
Sierra Leone                    3.000000
Serbia                          3.000000
Cote D'Ivoire                   2.857143
Chad                            2.857143
Singapore                       2.857143
Eswatini                        2.857143
Tajikistan                      2.857143
Norway                          2.714286
Nigeria                         2.714286
Venezuela                       2.714286
Croatia                         2.714286
Libya                           2.714286
Uruguay                         2.714286
Kosovo                          2.714286
Congo                           2.714286
Latvia                          2.714286
Nepal                           2.714286
Guinea                          2.571429
Democratic Republic Of Congo    2.571429
Greece                          2.571429
Ethiopia                        2.571429
Syria                           2.428571
Lebanon                         2.428571
Ghana                           2.428571
Japan                           2.428571
Malawi                          2.285714
Sri Lanka                       2.285714
South Korea                     2.285714
Cuba                            2.285714
Morocco                         2.285714
Togo                            2.285714
Madagascar                      2.285714
Jamaica                         2.142857
Georgia                         2.142857
Mozambique                      2.142857
Uzbekistan                      2.142857
Rwanda                          2.142857
Cyprus                          2.142857
Malaysia                        2.000000
Palestine                       2.000000
Tunisia                         2.000000
Trinidad And Tobago             2.000000
Costa Rica                      2.000000
Angola                          2.000000
New Zealand                     2.000000
Niger                           2.000000
Paraguay                        2.000000
China                           1.857143
Burkina Faso                    1.857143
Zimbabwe                        1.857143
Mauritius                       1.857143
Slovakia                        1.714286
Benin                           1.571429
Botswana                        1.571429
Mongolia                        1.571429
Burundi                         1.571429
Uganda                          1.571429
Australia                       1.571429
Lesotho                         1.571429
Myanmar                         1.428571
Zambia                          1.428571
Gambia                          1.428571
Thailand                        1.428571
United Republic Of Tanzania     1.428571
Jordan                          1.428571
Namibia                         1.285714
Taiwan                          1.142857
Vietnam                         1.000000
Cambodia                        1.000000
Laos                            1.000000
Timor Leste                     1.000000
Papua New Guinea                1.000000