Dr. Jill Biden’s colleagues (the “experts”) say “India Worst Hit Country in the World”:
The TIME article:
India became the country with the world’s second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, surpassing Brazil, and now second only to the United States.
India now has 13.5 million confirmed cases, compared to the U.S.’s 31.1 million. The country is currently in the midst of a second wave of the virus, with confirmed daily infections reaching an all-time high of 168,912 on Monday.
This week has marked a series of grim Covid milestones for India. It was this week the country once again outstripped Brazil to become the second-worst affected globally, with a total of over 13.68m cases.
In other words, India has suffered more from COVID-19 than a country in which 100 percent of the population died of COVID-19, just as long as that country had only 13 million people.
How bad are things in what TIME and the Guardian say is the worst-plagued country on Earth? The country has suffered 125 COVID-19-tagged deaths per million inhabitants (ranking). That compares to 2,530 per million here in Massachusetts (states ranked; note that this is per 100,000 so multiply by 10). Maybe they will be getting worse, though. If things get 20X as bad as they’ve been in India, the situation will be about as bad as it is right now in Massachusetts.
From the New York Times, the “cases”:
and the deaths tagged to COVID-19:
The trend certainly does not look good. I wonder if this proves what Dr. Jill Biden, M.D.’s colleague Dr. Jeff Goldblum said: “Life Finds a Way.” The non-Chinese Wuhan-edition coronavirus was perhaps not a good fit for hosts in India, which is why, adjusted for population size, not much happened during Coronawave #1 (TIME: “health experts had predicted that India, with a population more than four times the size of the U.S., would quickly become the world’s worst-hit country”). But now the virus, with approximately 30,000 base pairs, has evolved. How much? Here’s the March of the Mutants:
If there isn’t already, there should soon be a coronavirus suitable for any host: Indian, not Indian, vaccinated, not vaccinated, etc.
On the third hand, what goes up exponentially might well come down exponentially. So far the actual daily death rate from Coronawave #2 in India is lower than during the first wave. The higher case rate could simply be an artifact of increased test availability.
Readers: What’s your best guess as to how events unfold in India? My guess is based on regression to the mean. India was an outlier (125 deaths per million). When the dust settles, India will be somewhere in the middle (right now the worldwide average is about 375 deaths per million; 3 million deaths in a population of 8 billion). Perhaps we’d have to adjust for the fact that the median age in India is roughly 27, slightly younger than the world median (around 30).
- “India sees record surges in cases due to coronavirus variants” (New Scientist): The surge appears to be driven mainly by the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the UK, which is causing around 40 per cent of cases in Asia, according to pathogen-tracking project Nextstrain. Another 16 per cent of cases are due to the B.1.351 variant that evolved in South Africa.