The last four World Health Organization Coronavirus disease situation reports, 63-66, show an almost flat number of new tested-and-reported COVID-19 cases worldwide each day:
- 46,484 (report 67; March 27; bold face because added as an update)
- 62,514 (report 68; March 28)
- 63,159 (report 69; March 29)
- 58,411 (report 70; March 30)
- 57,610 (report 71; March 31)
- 72,736 (report 72; April 1)
- 72,839 (report 73; April 2)
- 75,853 (report 74; April 3)
- 79,332 (report 75; April 4)
- 82,061 (report 76; April 5)
- 77,200 (report 77; April 6)
- 68,766 (report 78; April 7)
- 73,639 (report 79; April 8)
- 82,837 (report 80; April 9)
- 85,054 (report 81; April 10)
- 89,657 (report 82; April 11)
- 85,679 (report 83; April 12)
- 76,498 (report 84; April 13)
- 71,779 (report 85; April 14)
- 70,082 (report 86; April 15)
- 76,647 (report 87; April 16)
- 82,967 (report 88; April 17)
- 85,678 (report 89; April 18)
- 81,153 (report 90; April 19)
- 72,846 (report 91; April 20)
- 83,007 (report 92; April 21)
- 73,920 (report 93; April 22)
- 73,657 (report 94; April 23)
- 81,529 (report 95; April 24)
- 93,715 (report 96; April 25)
- 84,900 (report 97; April 26)
- 85,530 (report 98; April 27)
- 76,026 (report 99; April 28)
- 66,276 (report 100; April 29)
- 71,839 (report 101; April 30)
- 84,771 (report 102; May 1)
- 91,977 (report 103; Saturday, May 2)
- 82,763 (report 104; May 3)
- 86,108 (report 105; May 4)
- 81,454 (report 106; May 5)
- 71,463 (report 107; May 6)
- 83,465 (report 108; May 7)
- 87,729 (report 109; May 8)
- 95,866 (report 110; Saturday, May 9)
- 61,563 (report 111; May 10)
- 88,891 (report 112; May 11)
- 82,591 (report 113; May 12)
- 81,577 (report 114; May 13)
- 100,284 (report 123; May 22)
- 118,526 (report 137; June 5)
Original text, before the data points in bold were added: Almost, but not quite flat, right? After four days it grew from around 40,000 to around 50,000. But consider these data against the background of a rapidly ramping up testing infrastructure. More people are being tested, not just celebrities and political elites with mild symptoms and peasant hospital inpatients. If dramatically more people are being tested every few days (and therefore fewer mild cases never get noticed/recorded as COVID-19), don’t the above data suggest that the actual number of new cases (humans actually infected as opposed to the proper subset of humans tested and reported as infected) is going down?
- March 25 report: 679 new cases
- March 26 report: 579 new cases
- March 27 report: 823 new cases (5,750 tests)
- March 28 report: 1,107 new cases (5,678 tests)
- March 29 report: 698 new cases (4,017 tests)
- March 30 report: 797 new cases (3,727 tests)
- March 31 report: 868 new cases (4,142 tests)
- April 1 report: 1,118 cases (4,803 tests)
- April 2 report: 1,228 cases (4,870 tests)
- April 3 report: 1,436 cases (6,354 tests)
- April 4 report: 1,334 cases (5,838 tests)
- April 5 report: 764 cases (3,137 tests, a Sunday)
- April 6 report: 1,337 cases (4,492 tests, lab staff back to work on a Monday?)
- April 7 report: 1,365 cases (4,915 tests)
- April 8 report: 1,588 new cases (6,167 tests)
- April 9 report: 2,151 new cases (7,447 tests)
- April 10 report: 2,033 new cases (7,414 tests)
- April 11 report: 1,886 new cases (6,404 tests; 87 deaths)
- Sunday, April 12 report: 2,615 new cases (7,954 tests; 70 deaths)
- April 13 report: 1,392 new cases (5,319 tests; 88 deaths)
- April 14 report: 1,296 new cases (4,502 tests; 113 deaths)
- April 15 report: 1,755 new cases (5,472 tests; 151 deaths)
- April 16 report: 2,263 new cases (8,750 tests; 137 deaths)
- April 17 report: 2,221 new cases (7,971 tests; 159 deaths)
- Saturday, April 18 report: 1,970 new cases (8,062 tests; 156 deaths)
- Sunday, April 19 report: 1,705 new cases (5,435 tests; 146 deaths)
- April 20 report: (switch to new format): 1,566 new cases (7,157 tests; 103 deaths)
- April 21 report: 1,556 new cases (5,974 tests ; 152 deaths)
- April 22 report: 1,745 new cases (5,090 tests; 221 deaths)
- April 23 report: 3,079 new cases (14,614 tests; 178 deaths)
- April 24 report: 4,956 new cases (20,127 tests (backlog resolved); 196 deaths)
- April 25 report: 2,379 new cases (11,632 tests; 174 deaths)
- April 26 report: 1,590 new cases (9,255 tests; 169 deaths)
- April 27 report: 1,524 new cases (8,787 tests; 104 deaths)
- April 28 report: 1,840 new cases (9,613 tests; 150 deaths)
- April 29 report: 1,963 new cases (11,118 tests; 252 deaths)
- April 30 report: 1,940 new cases (10,029 tests; 157 deaths)
- May 1 report: 2,106 new cases (13,989 tests; 154 deaths)
- Saturday, May 2 report: 1,952 (9,358 tests; 130 deaths)
- … see archives
- May 13 report: 1,165 (8,536 tests; 174 deaths)
- May 22 report: 805 new cases (10,158 tests; 80 deaths)
- June 5 report: 494 new cases (9,760 tests; 35 deaths)
3/27 analysis: Not an obvious exponential growth process and, even if it were, patients aren’t generally tested until admitted to a hospital (i.e., current growth in cases reflects a growth in infections that happened 1-2 weeks ago)
[Update, evening 3/27, text message from friend: “I asked [physician wife] how her nurse friend is doing at the hospital. She said she has not worked in a week because the ER is so dead she can’t get hours. The hospitals are empty.”]
3/28 analysis: The Massachusetts data are worrisome. The number of reported tests stayed constant from March 27-28, but the percentage of positives grew. We have no information about when samples were taken, however, so this growth could have occurred several days earlier. (Test results show up in this report on the day that the tests are completed.) The WHO data suggest that the answer to the question posted in the headline is “no” (though it is tough to say given that the WHO situation report does not say how many tests are being performed worldwide).
3/29 analysis: Massachusetts testing actually fell. Only 17 percent of tests were positive, about the same as the average of the two previous days. Linear growth is a better fit than exponential growth. The WHO data suggest weak exponential growth.
3/30 analysis: Massachusetts testing fell again, but 21 percent tested positive. Suggests that doctors are now better at figuring out who needs to be hospitalized (since it is hospitalization that leads to being tested). WHO data show a slightly reduced number of both cases and deaths.
3/31 comment: Where’s the exponential growth?
4/1 comment: Okay, maybe we do have (slow) exponential growth in both worldwide and Massachusetts cases.
4/2 comment: The world is doing better than Massachusetts, but if Farr’s law is in operation, it is tough to guess the top of the bell curve.
4/3 comment: Sweden (open) has 2X the population of Denmark (locked down), so the 519:279 ratio of new cases works out to roughly the same as the population. The ratio of deaths (43:19) is also roughly the same as population ratio. So it looks as though the Swedish epidemiologist’s prediction that government policy would have a minimal effect is proving correct. For the world overall, it has been 11 days and still the number of new cases has not doubled. WHO is still not publishing data regarding how many tests are being performed, so there is no way to know if this slow doubling corresponds to a 4X increase in testing and a falling number of actual new infections or a steady rate of testing and a doubling-every-two-weeks rate of actual new infections. Massachusetts data suggest doubling every 8-9 days. They also confirm the wisdom of the New Yorkers who fled via Gulfstream to their Nantucket mansions: only 9 cases on the island.
4/4 comment: Sweden continues to have roughly the same number of new cases, per capita, as Norway and Denmark, and Swedish hospital/ICU capacity remains sufficient (and public). It seems to be essentially impossible to die from COVID-19 in Norway. Do they have a better treatment that they’re not sharing? Or do they record the death of someone with underlying conditions differently? Or are they keeping people on ventilators beyond the point at which the Swedes would have given up hope?
4/5 comment: Sweden has 365 new cases; Denmark has 320. Keeping in mind that Sweden has 2X the population, this suggests that the Danish “lockdown” is not “making a difference” as rich Americans like to say. Massachusetts is back to the same number of new cases as 9 days ago. Farr’s law, but with an extremely poor fit to a Gaussian?
Monday, 4/6 comment: Sweden has 387 new cases; Denmark has 292. I.e., Sweden continues to have a lower per-capita new-case rate despite the lack of a lockdown. Sweden even has a lower per-capita death rate, 28:18. Spain and the UK are contributing hugely to the world total of new cases, each with roughly 6,000. Massachusetts numbers are back where we’d expect them to be, perhaps due to reduced lab activity on Sunday.
4/7 comment: Sweden has 376 new cases; Denmark has 312. The per capita new death ratio is no longer favorable to Sweden, however, at 4.75X (small sample, however; Denmark had only 8 deaths). Globally, COVID-19 has killed more than 72,000 people, i.e., about the same as the number of Americans killed each year by taxpayer-funded (via Medicaid) opioid addiction and overdose. But the new case count seems to be declining in accordance with Farr’s law. The Massachusetts numbers are worrisome. New cases are stubbornly high and 356 people have died so far (roughly the same, per capita as in Sweden; i.e., a poor argument for our state’s school closure and other shutdown efforts).
4/8 comment: Sweden has 487 new cases; Denmark has 390 (i.e., more per capita in the locked-down country). Worldwide new cases are still on a plateau. Massachusetts cases continue to grow, consistent with a doom-and-gloom forecast from University of Washington that Massachusetts will end up worse than New York, adjusted for population. Fully 2.6 percent of people in Massachusetts with confirmed cases are already dead, suggesting that we are not better at caring for patients than were the doctors working in Wuhan (death rate roughly 1.4 percent). As in China, though, our data are skewed by limited testing.
4/9 comment: Sweden is at 726 new cases; Denmark 331 (comparable when adjusted for population size). Worldwide new cases continue on a plateau. Massachusetts in shutdown seems to delivering the exponential growth that the media was hoping to see from wide open Sweden.
4/10 comment: Sweden has 722 new cases; Denmark 233. Sweden has more new cases adjusted for population, but Massachusetts, with more than 2,000 new cases, is a dramatically higher rate (roughly 4X). Deaths in Massachusetts, 96, represent a higher rate, adjusted for population, than Sweden’s, at 106.
4/11 comment: Let-it-burn Sweden has 544 new cases; lock-it-down Denmark has 184. Sweden is 1.5X the rate, adjusted for population. Sweden had 77 deaths versus 87 in shutdown Massachusetts (i.e., MA residents are dying at 1.6X the rate when adjusted for population).
4/12 comment: Sweden has 466 new cases; locked-down Denmark has 177. Sweden suffered 17 deaths; Denmark 13. I.e., adjusted for its 2X population, wide-open Sweden has a higher rate of new cases and a lower rate of deaths. Massachusetts has gone off the rails compared to Sweden. With 2,615 new cases, Massachusetts has 8X the new case rate of Sweden’s. With 70 deaths, locked-down Massachusetts has 6X the death rate of Sweden.
4/13 comment: Sweden at 332/12; Denmark at 178/13. Massachusetts at 1392/88.
4/14 comment: Sweden at 465/20; Denmark at 144/12; Massachusetts at 1296/113. Adjusted for population, Massachusetts has 4X the new cases and 8X the deaths.
4/15 comment: Sweden at 497/114; Denmark at 193/14; Massachusetts at 1,755/151. It seems that there was a substantial lag in reporting deaths in Sweden due partly to a three-day Easter holiday weekend. Even if all of the 114 deaths had occurred in the preceding 24 hours, the rate of new deaths in Massachusetts is substantially higher when adjusted for population. Total deaths in Massachusetts are at 1,108 versus 1,033 in Sweden, a 1.5X higher rate in the shut-down region of Massachusetts versus the up-and-running get-it-over-with region of Sweden.
4/16 comment: Sweden at 482/170; Denmark at 170/10; Massachusetts at 2,263/137. Total deaths in Sweden are 1,203 versus 309 in Denmark (2X the rate, adjusted for population). With 1,245 total deaths, shut-down Massachusetts still has a higher rate than mostly-open Sweden and a higher rate of new deaths.
4/17 comment: Sweden at 613/130; Denmark at 321/12; Massachusetts at 2,221/159. It is getting tougher to argue that the Danish shutdown was ineffective (but maybe Denmark will suffer its infections starting in a few weeks; kids in Denmark went back to school on Wednesday). And it is getting tougher to argue that the Massachusetts shutdown was effective (but maybe we won’t have a second wave since we were so incompetent at slowing down the first wave?). Sweden has had 1,333 total deaths without shutting down. Massachusetts shut down and has had 1,404 deaths (1.5X the rate).
4/18 comment: Sweden 676/67; Denmark 194/15; Massachusetts 1,970/156.
4/19 comment: Sweden 606/111; Denmark 193/12; Massachusetts 1,705/146. Every article that I saw today in the nationwide media about a COVID-19 victim featured a healthy person cut down in his/her/zer/their 30s or 40s. Out of 146 Massachusetts deaths total, just 4 were under age 60 and all had preexisting conditions. The median age of a person who died was “80s”.
Monday, 4/20 comment: Sweden 563/29; Denmark 142/9; Massachusetts new format 1,566/103. As nobody seems to die in Sweden on a Sunday or holiday, the 29 number should be ignored for now. With 1,809 total deaths, Massachusetts continues to have a higher (1.67X) rate than Sweden (1,540). The chart of “currently hospitalized” has been more or less flat since April 14. So it may be time to reduce our coronapanic level regarding finding hospital services if we need them (but we can coronapanic about something else!).
Thursday, 4/23 comment: Sweden 682/172; Denmark 217/14; Massachusetts 3,079/178. The Massachusetts death rate to date is now 1.75X that of Sweden (2,360 deaths versus 1,937). The number of hospitalized patients continues to be more or less level. The number of deaths per day is also more or less level:
(it seems as though there is a substantial delay from death to report). There was a huge jump in testing as of today’s report, which means the number of newly reported cases is not comparable to the old numbers.
Friday, 4/24 comment: Sweden 751/84; Denmark 161/10; Massachusetts 4,946(!)/196. The death rate in Massachusetts is now 1.8X the Swedish rate. The MA report explains that the high new case count “reflects a correction of a reporting error made by Quest, a national commercial laboratory, which affected case counts in multiple states including Massachusetts” and that these cases actually go back to April 13. The average age of a person who died while testing positive for COVID-19 is 82. Out of 2,556 deaths, only 1 has been of a person under age 30.
Wednesday, 4/29 comment: Sweden 695/81; Denmark 153/7; Massachusetts 1,963/252. With 3,405 deaths so far in Massachusetts versus 2,355 in Sweden, the Massachusetts death rate, halfway through our second month of lockdown, is 2X Sweden’s. India has experienced only 31,332 cases and 1,007 deaths, despite the vast population and impracticality of a true lockdown.
With roughly the same number of “new cases” worldwide as at the beginning of the month, despite what must be an increased testing capacity, I am prepared to guess that the number of new cases is actually declining. Deaths in today’s report were 5,376. Deaths reported on April 1 were 4,193. (If my guesses continue to prove wrong, this will qualify me for a job as an epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Bill Gates-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation!)
Saturday, May 2 comment: Sweden 428 new cases/67 deaths; Denmark 153/8; Massachusetts 1,952/130. The number of people in the hospital in Massachusetts has been trending down for five days, consistent with news from a neighbor who is an ER nurse at a community hospital (“things are quieting down”). We’re back to where things were circa April 14. The worldwide new case count of 91,977 sounds high, but it is also roughly the same as where it was on April 11.
Wednesday, May 13 comment: Sweden 602 new cases/57 deaths; Denmark 78/-6 (six Danes who had died from Covid-19 actually rose from the dead); Massachusetts 1,165/174. In Massachusetts to date, 5,315 people have been tagged as having died from/with Covid-19 (average age 82 with underlying conditions holding steady at 98.4%). In Sweden, it is 3,313, which means the Massachusetts death rate is 2.3X Sweden’s.
Wednesday, May 22 comment: Sweden 649 new cases/40 deaths; Denmark 65/7; Massachusetts 805/80. Deaths to date in Sweden: 3,871; in Massachusetts: 6,228. The Massachusetts death rate is still 2.3X Sweden’s. The epidemic seems to be winding down here in Massachusetts, proof that the virus will burn itself out no matter how incompetent a group of people are? Looking county-by-country, it doesn’t seem as though the curve shapes are radically different in any of the plague lands:
How about just Massachusetts? From NBC:
Speaking of states, could it be that New York is the safety place in the U.S. to be right now? Via the magic of exposing almost everyone to the virus back in March, the state looks like it is near the end of an almost textbook epidemic curve:
Do we think that Governor Cuomo heroically saved those still alive in NYC or that the virus simply ran out of suitable hosts?
June 5 comment: Sweden 1080 new cases/20 deaths; Denmark 40/2; Massachusetts 494/35. Sweden has suffered 4,562 total deaths; Massachusetts 7,235. Massachusetts, about to enter Month 4 of shutdown (with a few things reopened), has 2.27X the death rate of Sweden.
23 thoughts on “Number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide is declining now?”
Well, your president has already said that the number of cases “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.””
Making Baghdad Bob seem like a well informed source of truth, your president does. The collection of presidential statements below is from reddit.com, and it is not mine.
January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
February 25: “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
February 26: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
February 28: “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
February 28: “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that, right? Coronavirus, they’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ They go, ‘Oh, not good, not good.’ They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa.” “They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They’d been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”
March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
March 6: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
March 9: “This blindsided the world.”
Edit: March 9: “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant.”
March 10: “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
March 13: National Emergency Declaration
March 13: “I don’t take responsibility at all”
March 15: “TODAY IS A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
March 16: “I give myself a 10 out of 10”
March 17: “I’ve always known this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
Thanks, Jonas, but I’ve been getting my coronavirus info from WHO and similar sources, not from any politicians (though, bizarrely, Professor/Dr. Trump and the Imperial College epidemiologists now seem to agree that the worst will be over by Easter!).
Philip: If you think the growth in confirmed cases is being driven by wider testing, look at the number of deaths instead.
“I’ve been getting my coronavirus info from WHO and similar sources”
WHO is saying that the rate of new COVID-19 cases worldwide is declining?
I’d describe it differently: You’re getting your raw data from WHO. Your interpretation of the data, on the other hand, seems to be driven by confirmation bias (which is of course a universal failing), and your belief in what might be called anti-anti-Trumpism – that criticism of Trump simply springs from personal prejudice against Trump. This is the curse of high intelligence: you don’t trust what you read in the New York Times, or what the WHO says about the pandemic, because you think you’re smarter and more rational than they are.
If you have no reliable news source you can trust, you end up in this kind of epistemological vacuum, where the unpublished Oxford study and the Aaron Ginn essay have just as much credibility with you as what the WHO is saying. I assume they came to you through Facebook or through email?
As Jonas points out, Trump’s statements so far have been wishful thinking, completely detached from reality. If COVID-19 turns out to be far less dangerous than the conventional wisdom, this will of course make Trump’s critics look stupid, and make you look smart. I would respectfully suggest that this gives you a strong bias towards thinking that COVID-19 isn’t that dangerous, despite the deaths in Italy, Spain, and now the US.
COVID-19 is a new and highly contagious virus; we have no immunity to it. Trump may not understand exponential growth, but you do.
Why does the steady rise in number of deaths cast doubt on a falling number of new infections? Wouldn’t deaths lag infection by 2-8 weeks? (see https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus ) So a change in the number of deaths tells us how the rate of new infections was changing perhaps 3 weeks ago? Maybe 4 or more weeks ago in a country with a lot of intensive care capability?
Just updated the original post with today’s WHO number of new cases. It is lower than the previous day’s (i.e., declining!).
“So a change in the number of deaths tells us how the rate of new infections was changing perhaps 3 weeks ago?”
Both the number of deaths and the number of confirmed cases are lagging indicators. Median time from infection to death is around 17 days. Median time from infection to confirmation is about 14 days (five days to first symptoms, seven more days to hospitalization, two more days to get test results). Looking at changes in either number tells you what was happening to the rate of infection about two weeks ago. (In the US, from the number of deaths, we can see that the rate of infection was doubling every three days.)
Deaths are not an accurate indicator either, and could be simply and artifact of more testing simply because it’s not deaths from covid-19, it’s deaths where the virus was detected. The “normal” rate of pneumonia deaths is still much greater than covid-19’s.
Honestly, the corona virus is not too big of a concern. Most cases are mild, and some are even unknown. Governments are making a big deal out of it so they can obsess over something.
“Nothing to fear but fear itself” 
When this is all over, I think history will record today’s event as one of the biggest man-made blunder of all times. We are letting fear over take us vs. some common sense.
This is first hand account: Both of my kids are nurses, one is NP the other is RN, each work at different hospital here in the Boston area. At both hospitals, they converted at least an entire floor for COVID-19 patients some 2 weeks ago. How many beds have patients as of yesterday both hospitals combined? Less then 10. And those who are in a hospital bed are all older patients with preexisting conditions such as heart issues due to smoking or drinking to name some. All other beds are simply left empty and nurses are getting bored having nothing to do.
Yes, there are COVID-19 can be deadly, painful and is contagious. But so is a flu. What do Drs. tell a flu patients? Use common sense, stay home so you don’t pass it around, wash, rest and watch you health. In fact, that’s exactly what Dr. are tell their COVID-19 patients to do, but yet somehow COVID-19 has become this virus that makes it sounds as if you get it, you will die from it no matter what. Thus, we injected “fear” into the public.
And to make it super clear. Those COVID-19 patients at my kids hospital, none are on ventilators or life support. Their symptoms is no different from a severe flu symptom but is now aggravated due to preexisting conditions that they have.
A co-worker died at senior management’s company, in New York City. All in the company have been working from home the last two weeks. There were about 100 working in the office. That is the first coronavirus fatality I can personally confirm.
There are two trends to track: coronavirus and fear. The personal fear index in my household just skyrocketed as the personal coronavirus death toll reached to about what we should expect.
Thanks for linking to the WHO reports. How the report organization and presentation changes over time is noteworthy.
Is testing capability growing at at least the same rate as infections in the regions experience the most absolute growth?
What does “If dramatically more people are being tested every few days” main in terms of actual growth rate? Linear testing growth in the face of exponential infection growth would still mean that the ability of testing to capture the true infection landscape is getting worse day-by-day not better.
For the thousands time: epidemics are NOT exponential (they only appear to be so at initial stage) and follow the bell curve, aka Farr’s law.
Everyone talking about exponential growth or making projections based on these basically has no clue. That includes most of the fake “experts” in govt and media.
averros: We are still in the initial stage of the epidemic. Even if the number of infections in the US is one million (a bit less than 100X what it was in Wuhan shortly before China imposed a near-total lockdown on the city), that would be only 0.3% of the population.
Philip thoughtfully posted links to the Massachusetts numbers. On March 27, the total number of confirmed cases was 3240 (823 new cases). On March 24, it was 1159 (382 new cases). On March 21, it was 525 (112 new cases). Philip comments that this is not an obvious exponential growth process. I’m tempted to add that the doubling time is obviously not three days.
Hooded A: If there is exponential growth in infection rate AND linear growth in testing, shouldn’t we expect to see (a) dramatic growth in “new cases”, and (b) a higher percentage of positive tests?
The WHO summary reports don’t tell us how many tests were performed, but Massachusetts does. Massachusetts has neither a dramatic rise in new cases (a) nor a significant change in the percentage of positive results when a test is actually done (b). As noted above by various people (including me), because “new cases” are limited to hospital inpatients, this is a window into how things were growing at least a week earlier (Russil says 14 days).
Philip: glad to see that you’re updating the post with the daily Massachusetts count, and that today’s count was lower. Logarithmic graph of cases in the most-affected states. Massachusetts now has more cases than Washington state. Hopefully the slope of the curve will continue declining, reflecting the effectiveness of social distancing (whether voluntary or mandated) from two weeks ago. (It doesn’t have to be perfect to have an effect!)
Stanford has release a preprint about their antibody testing in Santa Clara, CA. They infer “an infection fatality rate of 0.12-0.2%”.
More testing news – from Boston.
Another one from Boston. At this rate people might get the crazy idea that the virus isn’t all that dangerous!
Lord P: I draw the opposite conclusion from that Boston homeless shelter survey. I.e., coronavirus was an attempt to kill all of the homeless people in the U.S. Fortunately, it has failed and therefore the homeless industrial complex will continue to receive funding!
averros: No natural exponential process is exponential forever, there is always a limiter. You claim it is not exponential then claim “it only appears be at the initial stage”. What does it mean for growth to “appear” to be exponential? It literally is exponential (for a period) is the explanation. You can plot the growth on a log graph and take the slope.
philg: The behaviour depends on the cohorts being tested versus the cohorts getting sick.
Thanks for keeping this updated
It’s hard (and appreciated) work updating this. But it might be a bit futile.
Sweden’s approach was different than Denmark’s at the outset. But like the UK, more and more measures were implemented as the death toll accelerate.
They closed down their schools for teenagers and older on march 17th. Most cinemas and theaters closed in late march as well. Business was slack and the risk was high.
It looks as if this english language explanation is getting updated every once in a while
And this is what the swedish government is saying
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