A CSH overview on the COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATED ON JULY 11th 2020

While the pandemic keeps growing in the world in general (where it has killed almost 600 000 people) and in India in particular, this country continues to alleviate the stringency of its lockdown, which has been one of the most severe in the world. For sure, it has not been a success, even though no one knows what would have been the epidemic situation had the lockdown not been implemented. The website https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ gives regularly updated statistics on the evolution of the epidemic worldwide, while a very nice geographic tracker of the quickly evolving Indian situation is provided at https://covindia.com.

The very little empirical evidence that researchers – including those of CSH – are gathering about lockdown-like authoritative policies that aim at reducing people freedom to move around suggest that the cost-benefit ratio of these policies is not favorable. If the epidemic strikes back again in the near future in Europe – a possibility that is taken seriously by European health authorities – it is unlikely that European countries will adopt blind lockdown policies of the kind they implemented in March and April.

Country deaths per million people number of cases number of deaths number of deaths/number of cases Country population Median Age
Belgium 847.62 62 357 9 781 15.69 11 539 328 41.4
UK 661.19 288 133 44 650 15.5 67 530 172 40.5
Spain 607.72 300 988 28 403 9.44 46 736 776 42.7
Italy 577.01 242 639 34 938 14.4 60 550 075 45.5
Sweden 550.6 74 898 5 526 7.38 10 036 379 41.2
France 460.68 170 752 30 004 17.57 65 129 728 41.4
US 415.33 3 291 786 136 671 4.15 329 064 917 38.1
Netherlands 358.89 50 840 6 136 12.07 17 097 130 42.6
Peru 353.73 319 646 11 500 3.6 32 510 453 28
Brazil 334.16 1 804 338 70 524 3.91 211 049 527 32.6
Mexico 268.01 289 174 34 191 11.82 127 575 529 28.3
Canada 234.13 107 126 8 759 8.18 37 411 047 42.2
Iran 150.12 252 720 12 447 4.93 82 913 906 30.3
Germany 109.32 199 588 9 130 4.57 83 517 045 47.1
Russia 75.52 713 936 11 017 1.54 145 872 256 39.6
South Africa 65.92 250 687 3 860 1.54 58 558 270 27.1
Turkey 63.8 210 965 5 323 2.52 83 429 615 30.9
Saudi Arabia 62.77 226 486 2 151 0.95 34 268 528 27.5
Poland 41.23 37 216 1 562 4.2 37 887 768 40.7
Egypt 36.88 80 235 3 702 4.61 100 388 073 23.9
Maldives 24.48 2 617 13 0.5 530 953 28.2
Pakistan 23.66 246 351 5 123 2.08 216 565 318 23.8
India 16.21 822 603 22 144 2.69 1 366 417 754 28.1
Bangladesh 13.95 178 443 2 275 1.27 163 046 161 26.7
Indonesia 12.82 72 347 3 469 4.79 270 625 568 30.2
Philippines 12.58 52 914 1 360 2.57 108 116 615 23.5
Japan 7.74 20 719 982 4.74 126 860 301 47.3
South Korea 5.62 13 373 288 2.15 51 225 308 41.8
New Zealand 4.6 1 543 22 1.43 4 783 063 37.9
Singapore 4.48 45 614 26 0.06 5 804 337 34.6
Australia 4.25 9 549 107 1.12 25 203 198 38.7
Malaysia 3.79 8 696 121 1.39 31 949 777 28.5
China 3.23 83 587 4 634 5.54 1 433 783 686 37.4
Nepal 1.22 16 649 35 0.21 28 608 710 24.1
Hong Kong 0.94 1 404 7 0.5 7 436 154 44.4
Thailand 0.84 3 216 58 1.8 69 037 513 37.7
Sri Lanka 0.52 2 454 11 0.45 21 323 733 32.8
Taiwan 0.29 451 7 1.55 23 773 876 40.7
Myanmar 0.11 326 6 1.84 54 045 420 28.2
Vietnam 0.0 370 0 0.0 96 462 106 30.5
Cambodia 0.0 141 0 0.0 16486542 25.3
Bhutan 0.0 82 0 0.0 763092 27.6
Laos 0.0 19 0 0.0 7169455 23

While Western Europe seems to be taking a summer break from the epidemic, the relief does not seem to be ahead on this side of the Indian Ocean. The French Embassy will maintain its strict policy of limiting physical presence to all its buildings – including CSH of course – until at least August 31st. Moreover, many researchers of the CSH – including its director- will move away to Europe for a few weeks. For this reason, we are going to interrupt our (imperfectly) regularly updated “Overview on the COVID-19 pandemic”. We therefore leave you, for the next five weeks, with the following
table that describes the epidemic in all East-Asian countries as well as in a few other salient ones. These countries are ranked by the lethality of the COVID relative to their population.

We really hope that the human kind will move forward ahead of this epidemic, and that CSH will be able to resume its normal activity in a foreseeable future.

Nicolas Gravel, Director of the CSH.

Regarding the CSH scientific production linked to the topic:

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