You think the answer is USA, right? WRONG!!! But it has to be – after all, it’s been in the news for 4 days now. Please allow me explain.
But before I start, I want to give you some background. My Data Analytics Study on the Coronavirus Pandemic is in its 15th day today and I have chosen 30 countries for this study. These countries have been chosen not just because these are the countries with the highest number of cases, but also because they comprise the most populated nations on earth – that is why Bangladesh, Nigeria and Vietnam are part of the study.
The Table with COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV) data from the chosen 30 countries comprises 653,922 Coronavirus cases (up 7.6% from 607,883 yesterday), which is 90.3% of the 724,278 cases (up 7.8% from 672,086 yesterday) reported worldwide at 9:00 am UTC today, and is therefore more than a good reference sample.
Now look at the Table properly. Yes, USA may be the country with the most number of absolute cases, and China may be at No.3, but we have to look at the cases in perspective of the population of each country. Surely, we can’t expect China to be at the bottom of the Table or Bhutan to be on the top, as the absolute number of cases in any country will have some relation to the population of that country.
Therefore, the country with the most number of cases is Switzerland, with 1.74 cases per 1,000, followed closely by Spain at 1.71 cases per 1,000 and Italy with 1.61 cases per 1,000. In this list, USA is at the No.10 position, with 0.4338 cases per 1,000. If the number of cases in USA was to be in proportion to Switzerland, USA would actually have 572,409 cases, or more than 4 times its current absolute number.
The Top 14 countries (of the 30) with the most number of cases per 1,000 have an average of 0.6268 cases, while the Bottom 16 have an average of 0.0231 cases, or just 3.7% of the Top 14.
Naturally, the next question is, why such a discrepancy? That is partly because an average 4,436 people per million have been tested in the Top 14 countries, whereas the Bottom 16 have tested only 713 people per million. I must mention here that the data pertaining to the number of tests conducted has not been updated by several countries since yesterday or Saturday, so the comparisons in this para may be somewhat incorrect.
From the Table, it does seem that the number of cases per 1,000 (at 0.92) is much higher in Europe (excluding Russia) compared with any other continent (0.0581), but that is ALSO because the number of tests per million is ALSO higher (5,558 per million in Europe compared with 979 per million in the rest of the world). Even within Europe, if we exclude UK and Sweden, the caes per 1,000 goes up to 1.079.
India may be No.28 in the number of cases per 1,000, but that’s because it’s No.27 in terms of the number of tests done per million.
No study of this type will be accurate or fair unless we look at the “INFECTION RATE“, or the number of people tested positive (of those who undergo the COVID-19 test). I will post another article on just that very subject next.