General (2s) Dominique Delawarde, a former intelligence officer specializing in international issues, particularly the United States, provides a weekly analysis of the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic at the national and international level. The week 30-2020 is, for him, one of the worst of the epidemic.
Foreword: Globally, the epidemic has been increasing sharply since the low point of week 24. The number of new and critical cases is breaking new records every week. In a single week, 1.8 million new cases were reported and the number of critical cases rose to over 66,000. From 30,262 in week 24, the number of weekly deaths has risen to more than 42,000 in the past week.
If things do not improve quickly and the current pace continues, without even accelerating, the 30 million cases and one million deaths reported will be reached by the end of September.
On the research side, five candidate vaccines are believed to be in Phase 3 (out of 4) development. Phases 3 and 4 normally last several months, so there is little hope of a reliable vaccine solution before 2021, unless we want to skip ahead.
Wearing the mask
Regardless of the laboratory behind the eventual vaccine (Anglo-Saxon, Chinese or Russian), its goal is not so much to save lives as to make money and/or improve its image. All means will therefore be used to finish at the head of the race, even if it means “tampering” with the results before publication in the magazine “Le Lancet”, which we now know is open to “tampered publications”. The confidence deficit is now such that it will be difficult to convince people to get vaccinated with a hastily developed product.
The current strategies of mass screening, isolation of positive cases and early treatment will therefore be the only weapons available for many months to come.
As far as treatment is concerned, it seems that the treatment proposed by the IHU in Marseille works less badly than Doliprane, according to these two articles published in France Soir.
Finally, Prof. Philippe Parola – Director of the care service and research unit at the IHU Méditerranée Infection spoke about the epidemic and the wearing of masks (4-minute video). This video reminds us that the Marseille IHU is not just Professor Raoult, but a whole team of several dozen professors, lecturers and practitioners, each one more qualified and experienced than the last. They all speak the same language about the treatment they apply to the patients they treat. And they inspire confidence.
Situation report for Saturday 25 July 0:00 GMT
Since the beginning of the epidemic
213 countries or territories were affected by the virus, for 15,929,762 reported cases (+ 1,795,417 in 1 week).
641,838 deaths (+ 43,419 in 1 week); 9,714,499 recoveries (+ 1,296,589 in 1 week) ;
5,573,425 patients undergoing treatment (+ 415,409 in 1 week), including 66,183 in critical condition (+ 6,249 in 1 week).
It should be noted that:
7 countries or territories are still reportedly not affected by the epidemic to date.
15 countries or territories that were affected are no longer affected. 13 others that had eradicated the epidemic at one time or another have “fallen back into it”.
The evolution of reported losses over the past week can be summarized in a table: On reading the table, one realizes how low mortality remains in Oceania and Africa, how low it is decreasing in Europe and rebounding in the United States, how high it is still in Latin America and how it is deteriorating further in Western Asia (India and neighbouring countries).
– 34 countries have reported more than 1,750 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic: in order of loss (USA, Brazil, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, France, Spain, India, Iran, Peru, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Netherlands, Sweden, Pakistan, Turkey, Ecuador, South Africa, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bolivia, Romania, Switzerland, Philippines, Ireland).
– Of the 641,838 deaths in the epidemic worldwide, 609,018 (94.9%) occurred in these 34 countries.
On a global scale
The pandemic continues unabated. The number of deaths (43,419 in 1 week) and the number of critical cases (66,183) are still increasing. With 1.795 million new cases/week reported, a new record is set.
The epidemic continues its very slow decline in Europe, where the virus still circulates widely but appears to be less lethal: (more than 107 000 new cases in one week), still more than one million patients undergoing treatment (taking into account the countries that no longer report them: UK, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands), 5 161 critical cases (-116). The virus continues to spread in West Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran) and now in Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria). The 17.5 million cases and 684,000 deaths are expected to reach the 17.5 million mark next week.
Over the past week, Brazil has reported 1.15 times the number of US Covid deaths. Latin America still remains the epicentre of the epidemic, with more than three times the losses in Northern America (USA+Canada).
Of the 43,419 deaths in the past week, 21,238 are Latin American, 6,543 are US or Canadian and 2,338 are European. The situation is deteriorating further in West Asia with a major outbreak in India ( + Pakistan + Bangladesh + Saudi Arabia + Iraq). If we add Iran and Turkey, the countries of the region now account for more than 21% of new cases worldwide with nearly 61,000 new cases/day.
Yesterday’s highest figures are still those of Brazil, the USA, Mexico and India. These four countries alone accounted for 67% of new cases, 61.1% of new deaths and 60.8% of the world’s critical cases yesterday.
A table showing the current situation of the number of cases and deaths by major regions of the world makes it possible to see, at a glance, which regions are doing well so far.
Oceania, Africa and Asia still have very low mortality rates and a share of global losses of around 15.5%, even though they account for 77% of the population. Europe and the American continent (North and South) account for nearly 84.5% of the losses for less than 23% of the world’s population. The shares of Europe and North America are falling, little by little. The shares of Latin America, Africa and (Western) Asia are increasing.
Covid mortality rates in the poorest developing countries are still much lower than those in richer countries that can afford better health care.
To put the human toll of the 2020 pandemic into perspective, it should be remembered that in the first seven months of 2020, there have already been 33.2 million deaths, including
– 4.63 million deaths related to cancer,
– 2.82 million smoking-related deaths,
– 1.41 million alcohol-related deaths,
– 950,000 AIDS deaths,
– 762,000 traffic accident deaths,
– 642,000 deaths Covid-19
– 605,000 suicides.
These data are estimates taken from WHO annual statistics and reported for the period under review. To this could be added deaths related to malnutrition and infectious diseases (excluding Covid), which can be counted in the millions. One could also add the direct and indirect deaths related to military or economic interference by Western countries in the Near and Middle East or Latin America.
With regard to Covid deaths, it should be remembered that the numbers declared are very uncertain… Some countries underestimate the number of deaths by forgetting, for example, voluntarily or not, to count deaths at home, others greatly overestimate this number by attributing to the Covid alone, the deaths of very many patients suffering from multiple pathologies (including “old age”) Several of these pathologies, other than the Covid, have often been the primary cause of death.
Situation by continent, sub-continent and most affected countries
1 – Asia
China continues to do well. With 128 new cases declared in 1 week, 243 patients still under treatment including 7 serious cases, and 0 new deaths, it remains in a much better situation than a European continent, half as populated, which has largely deconfined but which still declares more than 107,000 new cases/week, more than 1 million patients under treatment including 5,167 critical cases (- 110) and which registers 2,338 deaths in 1 week. China is still doing better than Belgium, a country with which we have reopened our borders without the slightest concern, and which nevertheless has 13 times more new cases (1,609), 6 times more critical cases and many more new deaths than China (which has none) in the past week.
2 – North America
Yesterday, the USA alone accounted for 26.8% of new Covid cases worldwide. They also reported nearly 23.1% of the total losses of the epidemic (China 0.72%). The number of weekly deaths rose sharply to 6,502. The number of patients undergoing treatment exceeded 2.07 million and continues to rise (+ 211,500/week). The number of critical cases remains very high at 19,100 and continues to rise (+2,650). The USA is therefore still not at the end of its losses.
Canada, for its part, seems almost out of the woods with 39 deaths for the entire past week. Its mortality rate since the beginning of the epidemic is half that of the USA and its situation continues to improve. However, the number of critical cases remains high at 2,219.
3 – Latin America
The situation in Brazil is still not improving. All indicators remain in the red. The number of new cases (2nd in the world behind the USA with 21% of new cases worldwide) and the number of critical cases (3rd behind the USA and India at 8,318) remain very high. The number of deaths per day has greatly exceeded that of the USA for more than two and a half months. Brazil is still in the throes of the epidemic. Deaths above 1000/day should still be the norm in the coming days.
In Mexico, the weekly death toll has been 4,334. This country is still in the thick of the epidemic. Together with Brazil and the USA, it is expected to record more than 50% of the world’s deaths in the coming days.
In Latin America, the human losses are concentrated in ten states that report 97% of “Latino” deaths. Other countries in the Caribbean and South America are still largely spared by the epidemic.
4 – Africa
Only South Africa is in a worrying situation, with a sharp increase in the number of new cases and deaths. Together with Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria, it accounts for more than 75% of African deaths.
5 – Europe
The real situation in the UK in deconfinement seems to be gradually improving. Thus, the number of critical cases “would be” only 110 (4 times less than that of France). The level of daily losses remains the 2nd in Europe behind that of Russia for a total of 444 deaths this week). The total number of losses is and will remain by far the highest in Europe and should approach 50,000 deaths at the end of the epidemic.
The situation in Italy is slowly improving, with a slight reduction in critical cases and a significant increase in recoveries, which are still outnumbering new cases. The number of deaths remains low (71 in one week).
The situation in France is no longer really improving. Its number of new cases is increasing significantly (+3,922 in one week). Its number of critical cases is falling very slightly (- 44 in one week). Its Covid mortality rate is, to date, 462 deaths per million inhabitants (excluding deaths at home), for a world average of 82.3. In terms of the number of deaths, France is and will remain in third place in Europe behind the United Kingdom and Italy and ahead of Spain.
In terms of Covid “lethality” (number of deaths / number of confirmed cases), France remains “world champion” with a rate of 16.72%. (Covid lethality worldwide: 4%, and European: 7.3%). It is true that, apart from a few local exceptions, France has tested too little for too long, treated too many patients too late and relied too much on Doliprane and “spontaneous cure” to be able to hope to save as many lives as possible.
Research results announced at the beginning of an epidemic are still awaited as the epidemic comes to an end. Because it is finally testing more than before, France is discovering more and more new cases (3,922 in 1 week). This enables it to acquire a better knowledge of the circulation of the virus, to apply targeted isolation measures for the cases and outbreaks detected, and to treat them as soon as possible.
In terms of the number of tests, 4.6% of the French population was tested, the majority during the deconfinement. The Germans tested 8.9% of their population, the Canadians 9.8%, the Portuguese 15%, the Americans 16%, the Russians 18% and the Danes 24.4% by applying the tests at the beginning of the epidemic. Thanks to the great effort made over the last 6 weeks, France has risen from the depths to 77th place in the world for the number of tests per million inhabitants. There is therefore “something better”….
After Russia, France remains the European country that reports the highest number of patients under treatment. This number is increasing significantly (+5,854 in 1 week). France is also lagging behind in terms of cures (44.8% of confirmed cases). It does less well than Senegal which has cured 66.8% of its patients, Morocco which has cured 85.5%, and Russia which has cured 73.5% (note that these 3 countries have used, with many others, treatment protocols inspired by that of the Marseille IHU).
France has healed less than Italy which has healed 80.7% of its confirmed cases, Iran which has healed 87%, Turkey which has healed 92.5%, Switzerland and Austria which have healed 89.3%, Germany which has already sent 92.1% of its patients back home, etc. The global cure rate for confirmed cases is now 61%, even though a majority of countries entered the epidemic well after us.
Spain reports only 12 deaths in one week, but the number of new cases doubles in one week (+12,166) and the number of critical cases (617) does not decrease. Strange.
Highest screening rate
The situation in Germany is improving: more cures than new cases. The number of critical cases is falling. The number of deaths remains very low (32 in 1 week). Germany has 10 times fewer patients undergoing treatment than France for a much higher number of confirmed cases.
With a mortality rate of 846 deaths per million inhabitants, Belgium will remain the undisputed leader in this indicator (excluding micro-States). The number of new cases is still high for a country of 11 million inhabitants (+ 1,609 in 1 week). The number of patients under treatment continues to increase (37,666 today, i.e. +1,492 in one week). It is also very high in relation to the population. The cure rate achieved to date is one of the lowest in the world (only 26.8% of cases reported to date). Belgium therefore still remains the most active focus of the epidemic in Western Europe. It should be noted that Belgians declare Covid deaths at home, which some of its neighbours do not do.
In Russia, more than 18% of the population has been tested, which represents one of the highest screening rates in the world (excluding micro-States), hence the still high number of new cases detected (7th behind the USA, Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa and Colombia with 5,800 new cases yesterday). With 199,000 patients under treatment, Russia remains in 4th position behind the USA, Brazil and India. But this number is rapidly decreasing as the number of cures now far exceeds the number of new cases.
The number of daily deaths is decreasing. The Russian mortality rate per million inhabitants has reached 89. It is more than five times lower than in France. Because it detects quickly, isolates and treats without delay, and because it applies a strategy and protocol inspired by those of the Marseille IHU, Russia has already cured more than 73.5% of its confirmed cases, i.e. nearly 589,000 patients. However, Russia entered the epidemic round one month after France, which has cured only 44.9% of its confirmed cases, i.e. 82,000 patients. Russia should declare, at the end of the epidemic, a mortality rate close to that of Germany, a country that managed the Covid crisis rather well.
6 – Oceania
It is still largely untouched by the epidemic. Out of 42 million inhabitants, it has reported 15,293 cases, 10,399 of which have already been cured. There are still 4,733 “active” cases, of which only 42 are in a serious or critical state. The continent of Oceania reported 23 deaths this week. Its Covid mortality rate is less than 4 per million inhabitants (France 462). There is obviously not yet “fire in the lake”.
The mortality rates per million inhabitants of the 34 countries with more than 1,750 deaths, in the table below, give a small idea of the most affected geographical areas and/or countries.
Data table on Europe (and EU) response to the epidemic
Reminder: World Covid mortality rate: 82.3 deaths / Million inhabitants