This is a follow-up to my earlier post where I began to track the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 daily situation reports. I have updated the spreadsheet here. Unfortunately, there are some anomalies in the WHO’s report that adds to uncertainty about what is really happening. (See note below.)
I have added tabs for the U.S., Germany, France and Spain, which are the countries with the next most cases right now. I have also added columns on the “Table” tab with the daily percentage change in new cases and new deaths.
Here are the highlights from the most recent data:
- The number of new cases continued to grow globally. The number of new cases has been running between 11,000 – 15,000 per day for the last four days. It took about two weeks for the number of global cases to double.
- China and Korea are reporting virtually no new cases.
- The number of new cases in Italy may have peaked. In the last four days new cases have been stable in the 3,200 – 3,500 range.
- The global fatality rate continues to hover around 4% but the rate varies dramatically by country, Italy on the high end at nearly 8% and Korea on the low end at 1%.
All of us would like some certainty regarding the future on this outbreak. But the hard truth is that we mostly don’t know. We have only been living with this new pathogen for about three months. That uncertainty is causing us to take extraordinary steps to contain the outbreak.
But I think while we are all working to do our part to contain the outbreak and while certainly no one wants to any unnecessary fatality, it is important to keep the outbreak in perspective. The failure to do so has, at least in my judgment, lead to some unjustified hysteria.
So, try to keep this in mind. About 60 million people in the world die each year. That is about 170,000 every day. The majority are elderly and die from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases/failure. Yesterday, 786 died from COVID-19. Most of them were also elderly and died from respiratory failure. This is a problem we must take head-on and every unnecessary death is a tragedy. But this is not the end of the world.