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Infographic – National Coronavirus Case Severity

Covid-19 case severity

Data: Johns Hopkins University and World Bank

21 Mar. 2020. The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic has become the most urgent global crisis in memory, and one that can be tracked in almost real time. In many of our stories, we’ve pointed to a dashboard posted and updated continuously by Johns Hopkins University showing the number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, and by country.

Our friends at the business research company Statista posted on Thursday a helpful chart using the Johns Hopkins data, showing the severity of the pandemic in the 10 countries with the most Covid-19 cases. Statista defines severity as the number of cases per million population, using data from 2018 compiled by the World Bank. While the pandemic is an urgent global problem, the chart makes clear where the threat from the disease is most immediate.

The problem with the Statista chart is by today, only 48 hours later, those numbers have grown, in some cases dramatically. To present a more up-to-date picture of severity, we prepared our own chart, using the same data sources. The findings show Italy and Switzerland — a country not often mentioned as a hot spot — with the most severe rate of Covid-19 cases, exceeding 700 per million people. China, the U.S., and U.K. have the least severe caseloads today, each with less than 100 cases per million.

The low number of cases per million in the U.S., however, may be an artifact of the slow testing response as much as actual number of cases. As testing for Covid-19 becomes more accessible in the U.S., we can expect the number of cases to shoot up quickly. We recommend bookmarking the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer effort that records data from U.S. state and territory health departments on testing for the disease and their results.

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