When identifying a potential COVID-19 hotspot, the most important stat to look at is the doubling rate. In other words, by what percentage are total new cases growing each day? The higher this number, the more likely it is that the rate of COVID-19 spread represents serious concern in that area.
When looking at countries based on the past two days’ worth of data, here are 7 nations that seem to be growing at a higher exponential rate than others.
1. The United States
With the world’s highest coronavirus count by far – now at 312,223 cases as of 11am ET on Sunday April 5, yesterday’s 34,196 new cases still represented 12.3% of overall cases, suggesting a 6-day doubling rate at that rate of spread. In other words, the US should expect to see over 600,000 total cases to-date by Friday if this rate continued. The US still remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic for this reason, especially in the absence of any mandatory federal measures implemented to curb the spread.
Now with 23,934 COVID-19 cases and the world’s 9th-highest COVID-19 case count, Saturday’s jump of 3013 cases represents a 14.4% increase. At this rate of spread, it would only take 5 days for Turkey’s case count to continue doubling. In other words, 20 days from now at this current pace, Turkey would see 16 times as many cases as today – 382,944.
While 10,360 cases may not seem like a big number for such a large nation (209.3 million people), Brazil’s case count increased yesterday by 1166 people, a 12.7% increase. It would only take 5.7 days to double at this rate of increase. There are two points of greater concern though:
a) Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, has opposed implementing any social distancing measures, putting the nation’s population at greater risk of contracting the virus.
b) Brazil also has one of the lowest testing totals of any nation, having only tested 54,824, which represents just 258 per million people.
The nation of France has been one of the world’s hardest-hit, with 89,953 COVID-19 cases and 7,560 deaths. A high death count relative to the overall case count often indicates that a country has been light on testing, and that there are likely many more cases that simply haven’t been confirmed.
Yesterday, France reported 7,788 new cases, still a 9.5% increase over its current case count. While this number is lower than other nations, France reported a much higher 23,060 new cases just the day before. This two-day average shows a very high doubling rate if things were to continue at that pace.
5. United Kingdom
The UK has implemented strict stay-at-home measures, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles are two of the world’s most prominent public figures to have been infected. It’s clear that the virus has quickly made its way around the UK, and with 47,806 confirmed cases including 5,903 reported today, a 14.1% jump in total cases is cause for concern. It would only take about 5 days to double at that rate.
While 3,588 cases is extremely low for such a large population of over 1.3 billion, India has seen a jump in total new cases the past few days, averaging in the 500-600 range, after many days before that below 200 new cases per day. The country has enforced strict quarantining measures nationwide, but has also administered very few tests – just 96 per 1 million residents – leading some to believe that there are many more cases in India than are currently being reported. The writer of this Yahoo Finance article, for example, estimates at least 75,000 cases in India. Whether that is true or not, the dense population of India is certainly a cause for concern if the rate of daily new cases continues to increase.
With another large population of 144.5 million, Russia has thus far been seen as a nation less hit hard than others. And while 5,389 cases may seem relatively low compared to other nations, that number has doubled over the past 5 days. A continued doubling rate every 5 days would be a great concern, bringing them over 100,000 cases by the end of April at that pace.
Russia has implemented some strict measures that we hope will curb the spread of COVID-19 there.
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