The Code COVID19 International Update is a weekly snapshot of the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing efforts by nations around the world to test, track and fight the virus. It’s compiled by Dr Priscilla Robinson, a London-based Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, and an editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Globally there are still about half a million cases every day, and between 2,000 and 5,000 deaths, so please continue to take care out there.
Japan (over 470,000) and South Korea (over 360,000) remain countries with large surges. China is quite small by comparison with a much bigger population and 167,000 new cases. Australia, for the record, still notifies almost 10,000 a day, and that’s only people who both test and report, and we all know that many people do neither. Tuvalu has shot up from 23 to 1259 cases this week, which will undoubtedly strain their health system, especially as the world is now looking elsewhere.
The global fatality rate has fallen again, to 1.04%, a small bit of good news.
A few countries seem to have reported progress this last week, some of which looks like catch-up reporting. Overall though there is not much to say, and globally we are nowhere near global population protection.
Some recent discussion in the public health community has dwelt on the topic of public health ethics (as opposed to medical ethics), and this is perhaps a good place to start thinking about it all. The maxim ‘we are not protected until we are all protected’ underpins the need for the COVAX programme, and the voice given to counterproductive arguments about vaccines, treatments, and the existence of COVID in the name or reporting equity needs consideration. These are not small issues, so please think about these issues when you see them being discussed in the future.
A couple of interesting papers this week, about not getting COVID:
Thank you SE for this one – a name for people who have not had COVID!
And a second more explanatory article on the same theme from the BBC but linked to the Sydney team.
On a different note, this paper is a good analysis of how populations are measured, and that is the basis for our epidemiological work and projections for future needs.
But regardless of all of that interesting information, the best protections remain those that served us well so far – masks, hand hygiene and distancing, and vaccines.
Until next week,
About Dr Priscilla Robinson and The CODE COVID-19 International Update
Dr Robinson is a public health epidemiologist with particular interests in international health and communicable diseases, and public health competencies. She has worked in health departments in England and Australia, has managed public health teaching programmes, and taught and researched many aspects of public health epidemiology and policy in many countries. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at LaTrobe University, and to stop herself being bored is an editor of PHAA’s journal ANZJPH, and holds board positions (almost all unpaid) on various NGOs, journals, and at her local hospital.
The CODE Update is a regular Intouch feature to keep readers informed of COVID-19 developments around the world.
The CODE Update originally began at the start of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic as Priscilla’s way of explaining to her friends and family around the world what was happening, and counter their experiences of information overload and misinformation. The update provides links to practical materials and papers written for people who are not versed in the language of outbreaks and epidemic curves. Published weekly, it includes a short commentary to provide context to the numbers included in the spreadsheets.
Note: While every attempt is made to transcribe all data faithfully, every now and again mistakes are made and not noticed until the next Update. Also, on occasion, numbers are revised after posting at the source databases.
We hope you will find these updates to be a helpful tool, and the links to current information useful.