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Saturday, 21 March 2020

Heading towards 1MM Covid-19 cases and 40,000 deaths globally by the end of March

Unfortunately the Covid-19 situation outside of China is dire, with countries being too slow to introduce detection, then containment, and now social distancing/self-isolation. During January and February the world first learned about the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, and then watched on in amazement at the draconian measures being taken to contain the spread within China. All while taking minimal actions to prepare for a possible pandemic.

The fact that China apparently managed to bring its outbreak under control (and the few cases detected outside of China during February) seems to have actually hindered global preparations - governments around the world were focussed mainly on reassurance and preventing economic dislocations by maintaining 'business as usual' approaches for far too long.

Now, the global rate of increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths has grown sufficient to outweigh the positive results achieved in China and South Korea, as can be seen below.

Global Covid-19 cases outside of China continued to rise exponentially:


While control achieved within China gave a false sense of security to the WHO and other countries:
But cases outside of China have now increased sufficiently to dominate the overall trend in global cases and deaths:

And with no indication that the spread of Covid-19 is yet being adequately controlled outside of China and South Korea, it looks as if the world may hit 1 million cases and close to 40,000 deaths from Covid-19 by the end of this month...

Governments around the world are belatedly trying to boost their ICU capacity by ordering mechanical ventilators - which will rapidly exhaust stock is on hand around the world (the government equivalent to suddenly running down to the local supermarket and trying to buy a month's supply of toilet paper!).

Hopefully everyone takes 'social distancing' and 'self-isolation' seriously enough to slow the rate of increase ('flatten the curve') to an extent that health capacity isn't totally overwhelmed. Otherwise the death rate could climb due to lack of trained staff, facilities and specialist life support equipment even in developed countries. What the situation is going to be like in India and African and South American countries in 2 or 3 months doesn't bear thinking about.

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