Reviewing the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate for the top 20 countries in the world yields countries you might not hear about often in the news.
⓵ 2,722 cases/100,000 and 2 deaths/100,000
You might be shocked at the per capita case rate in Qatar. Qatar, a small country with a large natural gas asset. And it is “is heavily dependent on foreign labor, mainly workers from Asian and East African countries.”
Dr. Sameh El-Saharty, Lead Health Specialist at The World Bank, said recently that migrant workers are a “major issue” in the transmission of COVID-19 for countries in the region that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Qatar….
The cases have spread across all of Qatar’s population, and while officials don’t give precise breakdowns of where they are, it’s clear many are inside the labor camps.
Qatar has begun requiring citizens to have a contract-tracing app on their phone when they leave their homes. The penalty for noncompliance is enormous: a $55,000 fine or three years in prison. WHO said that there is “only anecdotal evidence” that contact-tracing apps are effective.
⓶ 875 cases/100,000 and 16 deaths/100,000
Almost three weeks ago, President Sebastián Piñera said that the health care system was “very close to the limit” due to COVID-19. That day, 25 May, Chile reported 4,895 cases (Johns Hopkins). Today, it reported 6,509.
Chile has the highest number of confirmed cases per million people in Latin America. Today President Pinera replaced Health Minister Jaime Manalich with with Oscar Enrique Paris, the former head of the Chilean College of Doctors (Colmed).
Manalich, a tough-talking kidney specialist who once ran one of Chile’s top hospitals, has won praise for an aggressive campaign to keep hospitals supplied with ventilators and protective equipment and leading detailed daily press conferences.
⓷ 670 cases/100,000 and 19 deaths/100,000
Despite President Martín Vizcarra’s ordering the first shutdown in Latin America coupled with an economic aid program, Peru has “become one of the world’s worst coronavirus hot spots — its hospitals overwhelmed, its people fleeing the cities.”
“They asked us to stay at home, but a lot of people have no savings so that was impossible. They asked us to wash our hands, but one in three poor households has access to running water,” said Hugo Ñopo, who works for a Peruvian research group, Grade.
⓸ 627 cases/100,000 and 35 deaths/100,000
The US is not the largest country on the list, that would be India. And it is no longer leading in daily cases (we are past our initial peak), that would be Brazil. But it has the highest profile in US news coverage (doh) and in much of the world’s coverage (because of missteps).
⓹ 504 cases/100,000 and 48 deaths/100,000
Sweden initially took a laissez-faire approach to managing COVID-19, and in the process its per capita case numbers and deaths have far outstripped its neighboring Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Norway.
- Denmark, 213 cases/100,000 and 10 deaths/100,000
- Finland, 128 cases/100,000 and 6 deaths/100,000
- Norway, 159 cases/100,000 and 4 deaths/100,000
⓺ 436 cases/100,000 and 62 deaths/100,000
Six months before the pandemic hit, Prime Minster Boris Johnson disbanded the government’s ‘anti-pandemic committee’. The United Kingdom abandoned its laissez faire, “herd immunity” policy approach in mid-May after the Imperial College estimated deaths could hit 250,000. Reported deaths on Saturday were 41,747 (Johns Hopkins).
The week ending 29 May, the UK reported 955 “excess deaths” for every million people. That dwarfs the official COVID-19 rate of 620 deaths per million.
The OECD is projecting that the UK will suffer the deepest downturn among advanced economies. It is only a forecast, but it chimes with other indicators suggesting that this country will pay a uniquely high price for its sluggish imposition of the lockdown and the government’s chaotic mismanagement of the attempt to grope towards an exit.
⓻ 400 cases/100,000 and 20 deaths/100,000
Brazil’s daily case numbers are still on their initial climb. The US has been relatively flat due the recovery in the Northeast, but the current resurgence is at a slower rate than Brazil’s growth.
⓼ 356 cases/100,000 and 5 deaths/100,000
Testing capacity in Russia, for example, is vast, and was scaled up quickly. In Russia, more than 10 million tests have been done so far and more than 200 laboratories are providing same-day test results.
Salient lessons from Russia’s COVID-19 outbreak. The Lancet, 06 June 2020.
⓽ 354 cases/100,000 and 3 deaths/100,000
Saudi Arabia has a population of 34 million people and recorded its first COVID-19 infection on 02 March 2020.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Riyadh announces the suspension of services from tomorrow 14 June 2020 until an indefinite date, as a result of the discovery of a number of new coronavirus cases,” according to Al Jazerra.
⑩ 220 cases/100,000 and 10 deaths/100,000
Iran was among the earliest countries to suffer a major Covid-19 outbreak, and now is one of the first to suffer a resurgence.
Iran’s Coronavirus Fight Collides With U.S. Sanctions. Bloomberg, 13 June 2020.