Well the milestone that the press completely ignored this week was the world passing the 200 million COVID case mark, which did quite surprise me as passing the 100 million case milestone was a big deal at the time.
Overall though it has been a fairly quiet week, as the snapshot shows, with things pretty much as they were last week. The global attack rate sits at 2.5%, with the same hot spots as we have always had, and the case fatality rate is dropping, and now at 2.12. The countries followed in the main spreadsheet include almost 88% of the global cases, and nearly 89% of fatalities which is why the rate is slightly higher for the countries we follow here. This is probably an artefact of notification systems within and between countries; for example the South African sheet shows only one state with a rate below 2.12. Africa in general in fact is higher according to the WHO African regional sheet, whilst the SE Asia and Western Pacific are both much lower. The reason this matters is that a high CFR might indicate an under-identification of cases, and might make a country seem more in control than it really is.
Poster-child countries such as Thailand are quite worrying, as until recently there was little testing or contact tracing happening, because of a lack of appropriate resources, and now that things are getting a bit serious it is hard to regain control. Efforts to keep some areas open – such as Phuket – in order to maintain some national tourist industry resources are understandable in such a resource-poor setting. Fiji continues to have its health services stretched, and Indonesia similarly clearly continues to have areas of concern.
The vaccination tracker shows that the poorest countries continue to have the lowest vaccination rates, mainly because of a lack of access to vaccines. All advocacy resources to the COVAX programme please!
|Low Income Countries||1.10||0.30|
|Lower Middle Income Countries||19.60||6.60|
|Upper Middle Income Countries||38.40||16.40|
For Australians I have added a final spreadsheet (surprise!) to track the outbreaks in the SE. It is another work in progress. When I get time I will add on the various lockdowns, partial and complete, but the raw numbers are interesting in themselves.
See you next week,
About Dr Priscilla Robinson and The CODE 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. Otherwise, 10 acres of untamed bushland on a hill in South Gippsland makes weight-bearing gym exercise and strength training a bit redundant.
The CODE Update is a regular feature on the Intouch blog 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 a way of explaining it to Priscilla’s friends and family who happen to live all over the world, and who were being bombarded with information and misinformation in their own countries. The CODE Update provides links to practical materials and papers written for people who are not versed in the language of outbreaks and epidemic curves. It is sent out every week, and includes a short commentary to provide context to the numbers included in the spreadsheets.
Note: Whilst 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.