Which countries have the highest incidence of Coronavirus cases?

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You would say USA, right? Wrong.

When it comes to making an sort of reasonable comparisons, you have to use similar data. In this case, that means that you have to look at the Coronavirus cases in the context of the population of each country.

Before I go on, I want to let you know that my Data Analytics Study on the Coronavirus Pandemic is in its 21st day today and over 3,000 people have read my posts in these 3 weeks. The 30 countries chosen for the Study are not just because these countries have reported 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 data from the chosen 30 countries comprises 1,090,284 COVID-19 cases (up 8% from 1,009,807 yesterday), which is 89.8% of the total 1,213,897 cases (up 7.4% from 1,130,114 yesterday) reported worldwide at 10:00 am UTC today, and is therefore more than a good reference sample. Total cases worldwide have gone up 3.56 times in 13 days. Cases in the 30 countries in my Study have gone up by 3.48 times in the same 13 days, proving again that the 30 countries are a good sample.

Now let us look at the Table.

All the 30 countries have reported an average “Incidence Rate” (cases per 1,000 people living in these countries) of 0.1796.

The Top 8 countries in the Table are all from Europe and these 8 countries have reported an average Incidence Rate of 1.579. This means that the incidence of COVID-19 in these 8 countries is almost 8.8 times higher than the average Incidence Rate of all 30 countries.

The next 4 countries (USA, Iran, Sweden, and USA) have an average Incidence Rate of 0.7713, which is 4.3 times higher than the average Incidence Rate of all 30 countries.

Thereafter, the Incidence Rate starts dropping significantly. The next 9 countries have an average of only 0.0652 cases per 1,000, which is just 36% of the average Incidence Rate of all 30 countries, and the last 9 countries have an average of only 0.0053 cases per 1,000, which is less than 3% of the average Incidence Rate of all 30 countries.

Does this mean that people in the last 18 countries are more immune than the first 12 countries? The answer is No! To understand this phenomenon, we need to look at the “Testing Rate” (Tests conducted per million people residing in a country) of the last 18 countries vs. the first 12 countries.

Read my earlier post on testing.

The Average Testing Rate in the last 18 countries is less than 1,016 Tests per Million (in spite of Australia, South Korea and Russia having much higher Testing Rates), whereas the Average Testing Rate in the first 12 countries is almost 6,500 per Million (in spite of Iran and UK have much lower Testing Rates).

Therefore, even the Incidence Rate is NOT the best method to compare the Coronavirus cases in these 30 countries.

Probably the best method is to compare the “Infection Rate“, or what percentage of the total people (who have been tested) have tested positive. But even here the data can be skewed as not all countries follow the same testing protocols. Some countries are randomly doing thousands of Tests, while others are only testing those who are showing severe symptoms.

This is clear from the fact that, compared to the average Infection Rate of 10.05% for all the 30 countries in the Study, Philippines has an Infection Rate of 55.95%, France 36.64%, Iran 31.34%, Belgium 29.32, Indonesia 29.08, UK 21.96%, Netherlands 20.85%, Italy 19.33%, USA 18.49%, Brazil 16.23%, and Spain 16.2%; while Vietnam has only 0.3%, Russia only 0.74%, Australia only 1.94%, South Korea only 2.23%, and India an Infection rate of only 2.75%. I have ignored Nigeria, Egypt, Bangladesh and China as the testing data from those countries is not reliable.

Regardless of the different testing protocols being followed by various countries, how can the Infection Rates have such major differences?

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