The spread is slowing – and it’s decelerating even quicker than last week

I am all for scaring the living daylights out of people if that is what is necessary to keep them at home and isolating. I believe that was the purpose of the release of death projections by the Ontario government this past Friday, and boy, did it ever work. The streets and parks looked like a complete ghost town on a gorgeous April weekend that would normally be a cause for packed beaches and patios.

Having said that, this weeks virus spread numbers across the world have come in even better than I expected. I included the pace from two weeks ago as well just so the scale of deceleration is more obvious.

Week over week changes of active cases per country
March 27->April 3
Filtered on countries with 500+ cases

CountryWeek ending April 3rd paceWeek ending March 27th paceAcceleration of trend in active WoWWeek ending March 20th pace
South Africa23.11%463.37%-95.01%741.67%
Thailand30.27%270.61%-88.81%615.38%
Austria25.90%181.47%-85.73%429.98%
Luxembourg34.26%227.70%-84.95%1719.23%
Mexico44.33%260.38%-82.98%1887.50%
Australia51.52%265.14%-80.57%414.71%
Finland26.46%132.73%-80.06%185.71%
Lebanon23.88%110.65%-78.42%N/A
Dominican Republic151.61%697.14%-78.25%1300.00%
Lithuania93.18%425.37%-78.09%N/A
Croatia79.30%340.32%-76.70%313.33%
New Zealand130.82%536.54%-75.62%N/A
Saudi Arabia56.00%217.26%-74.22%450.82%
Switzerland26.88%101.42%-73.49%393.24%
Spain51.27%171.17%-70.05%285.04%
Malaysia30.76%99.57%-69.11%469.70%
Algeria183.62%594.12%-69.09%N/A
Ukraine241.00%710.81%-66.10%N/A
Iceland32.87%95.79%-65.69%245.30%
Turkey259.67%741.75%-64.99%13120.00%
Ecuador99.49%280.53%-64.53%2089.47%
Denmark21.68%60.08%-63.92%55.63%
USA157.72%426.39%-63.01%766.67%
Italy28.57%75.42%-62.12%153.16%
Panama110.65%288.89%-61.70%661.54%
Germany48.90%123.79%-60.50%441.29%
Hong Kong65.35%162.34%-59.75%201.96%
Netherlands73.65%179.07%-58.87%264.39%
Chile110.50%264.95%-58.29%895.35%
Canada129.55%309.80%-58.18%535.33%
Israel137.26%327.29%-58.06%464.75%
Portugal130.71%311.20%-58.00%809.01%
Morocco120.58%283.95%-57.54%N/A
Singapore51.19%115.35%-55.63%146.60%
Romania140.40%315.52%-55.50%274.32%
Norway40.96%91.95%-55.45%96.48%
Indonesia83.02%185.31%-55.20%433.33%
Ireland97.13%210.22%-53.79%878.26%
Czechia79.95%172.50%-53.65%590.83%
Argentina107.34%231.58%-53.65%406.67%
Slovenia37.68%80.29%-53.07%141.13%
Peru63.98%135.66%-52.84%821.43%
Hungary116.41%245.95%-52.67%N/A
Colombia126.96%263.19%-51.76%1007.69%
Pakistan88.20%176.08%-49.91%2325.00%
Belgium107.84%204.41%-47.25%263.24%
UK152.24%264.85%-42.52%386.48%
Poland138.36%235.63%-41.28%507.46%
Bahrain21.70%36.63%-40.75%N/A
Estonia60.04%99.65%-39.75%314.71%
Brazil162.25%246.81%-34.26%533.77%
Serbia189.33%262.12%-27.77%277.14%
Greece66.14%90.13%-26.62%149.20%
Iraq82.43%108.45%-23.99%N/A
Bosnia and Herzegovina134.65%162.07%-16.92%N/A
Moldova185.64%204.69%-9.31%N/A
Russia288.45%311.25%-7.33%548.65%
India250.25%259.28%-3.48%211.27%
UAE226.78%228.04%-0.55%N/A
France143.97%138.95%3.62%196.22%
Armenia128.67%122.22%5.27%N/A
Sweden88.87%83.45%6.50%97.91%
Iran69.78%64.15%8.78%56.62%
Philippines294.15%251.96%16.74%257.89%
Egypt80.26%65.96%21.68%360.78%
Cameroon456.32%248.00%84.00%N/A
Japan118.18%42.40%178.70%34.22%
Qatar88.63%12.83%591.03%75.57%

The deceleration in the pace of increase in trouble hot spots such as Italy and Spain is especially note worthy as it pushes down the overall spread of the virus across the world.

Italy went from a 153% increase week ending March 20th, to a 75% increase week ending March 27th, then down to just a 28% increase this past week. This equates to an average daily increase last week of just 3.66%. I fully expect Italy to start outright decreasing its number of active cases for the first time this coming week with healthy recoveries driving this reduction.

The French numbers look far worse than they really are because France decided to finally include all cases handled outside of hospitals (eg. long term care facilities) in their count. Why that wasn’t included in the first place baffles me, but it also messes with trend analysis, since many of the cases were actually discovered weeks ago, but they are counted in this weeks numbers. This makes the past week look far worse than it really was, and yet even then, the week was pretty much at par with the one preceding it.

For that reason I added a line in the aggregate chart which excludes the artificial impact of that French case adjustment:

RegionWeek ending April 3rd paceWeek ending March 27th paceAcceleration of trend in active WoWWeek ending March 20th pace
World90.03%151.91%-40.74%160.04%
Total less China91.15%159.77%-42.95%213.70%
Total less China/US71.17%125.49%-43.29%189.92%
Total less China/US/France65.19%124.45%-47.62%N/A

It’s clear the “excluding China” adjustment no longer makes any difference, so I will remove it next week along with the France adjustment, leaving only the “excluding US” line because I don’t think we’ve seen the worst there yet. The US now accounts for a full 1/3rd of the world active cases, and the rate at which people are testing positive indicates we’ve still only scratched the surface.

We can see that on aggregate the rate of spread of the virus is slowing significantly and is poised to continue to do so going forward.

In future posts I want to share the detailed stats on Canada broken down by provinces that I started collecting a bit over week ago, and maybe dive a little deeper into my favorite statistic, the % positive of tests, which is now easier than ever to calculate since Worldometers started publishing test numbers per country.


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