General (2s) Dominique Delawarde, a former intelligence officer specializing in international issues and particularly in the United States, provides a weekly analysis of the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic at the national and international level. From now on, his analysis will be bi-monthly.
The slowly evolving epidemic is likely to be sustained over 2020 and 2021 and may be more. The weekly newsletter will therefore become bimonthly as of today.
The next update will be on September 12 at 0:00 GMT.
Today, two very short videos deserve special attention:
The first one is a press conference recorded by BFMTV in Marseille.
Only the first 7 minutes of Didier Raoult’s words are interesting for a “non-Marseille native”.
The second one is a video that should make each of us think about the validity of the anti-covid measures taken by our governance and the action of the police forces to enforce them. It is taken by a surveillance camera of a supermarket and shows us the interpellation of a store employee who was wearing his mask badly by police forces who are more meticulous in this case than they usually are for serious delinquency.
Situation report for Saturday 29 August 0h00 GMT
Since the beginning of the epidemic
214 countries or territories were affected by the virus, for 23,108,415 reported cases (+ 1,790,288 in 1 week).
840,660 deaths (+ 38,060 in 1 week); 17,988,278 recoveries (+ 1,588,593 in 1 week) ;
6,769,065 patients undergoing treatment (+ 163,635 in 1 week), including 61,236 in critical condition (- 592 in 1 week)
Please note that:
6 countries or territories would still not be affected by the epidemic to date.
10 countries or territories that have been affected are no longer affected. 18 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 it, one realizes how low mortality remains in Oceania and Africa, how much it is falling in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and how much it is deteriorating further in Western Asia (India and neighboring countries).
– 34 countries have reported more than 2,020 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic. In order of loss : USA, Brazil, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Peru, Iran, Colombia, Russia, South Africa, Chile, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Indonesia, Iraq, Ecuador, Pakistan, Turkey, Netherlands, Sweden, Egypt, Bolivia, China, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Philippines, Guatemala, Ukraine.
– Of the 840,660 epidemic deaths recorded worldwide, 793,088 were in these 34 countries (94.3%).
On a global scale, the pandemic is beginning to weaken. The numbers of deaths (38,060 in one week) and critical cases (61,236) are declining, the latter indicator for the 4th consecutive week). With 1.79 million new cases/week reported, the rate of contamination remains stable and at a high level worldwide.
The circulation of the virus is on the rise again in Europe, but it is much less lethal (nearly 196,000 new cases in one week), still more than 1.4 million patients undergoing treatment (including countries that no longer report them: UK, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands); 5,639 critical cases (+441 in one week) for 2,118 deaths (-202 in one week). The virus continues to spread in West Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran) and Africa (South Africa, Egypt). The milestones of 32 million cases and one million deaths are expected to have been reached by the end of September.
Over the past week, India has reported more deaths than the US and Brazil. However, Latin America still remains the epicenter of the epidemic and has recorded more than twice the losses of Northern America (USA+Canada). Of the 38,060 deaths in the past week, 16,649 are Latin American, 6,747 are US or Canadian and 2,118 are European. The situation is getting worse and worse in West Asia. Countries in the region now account for nearly a third of new cases worldwide (90,000 new cases/day).
Current status of the number of cases and deaths by major region of the world.
The heaviest balance sheets of yesterday remain those of the USA, Brazil, Mexico and India. These four countries alone reported yesterday: 63.4% of new cases, 61.6% of new deaths and 60% of critical cases in the world.
Oceania, Africa and Asia still have very low mortality rates and a share of global losses of 20%, even though they account for 77% of the population. Europe and the American continent (North and South) account for 80% of the losses for less than 23% of the world’s population. The shares of Europe and North America are decreasing, little by little. The shares of Latin America, Africa and (Western) Asia are increasing.
To put the human toll of the 2020 pandemic into perspective, it should be remembered that since the beginning of the year 2020, there have already been 92 million births, 28 million abortions and 39 million deaths in the world:
– 9 million deaths related to cardiovascular diseases.
– 7 million deaths related to malnutrition.
– 5.4 million deaths related to cancer,
– 3.3 million smoking-related deaths,
– 1.65 million alcohol-related deaths,
– 1.1 million AIDS deaths,
– 1.05 million deaths from diabetes
– 1.05 million deaths from tuberculosis
– 890,000 traffic accident deaths,
– 840,660 deaths Covid-19
– 706,000 suicides
– 650,000 malaria deaths.
These data are estimates taken from WHO annual statistics and related to the period under consideration (8 months). To this could be added deaths related to infectious diseases (excluding Covid), which can be counted in the millions, and direct and indirect deaths related to military interference or economic sanctions by Western countries in the Near and Middle East or Latin America.
Again to put things into perspective, the comparison with the other major global epidemics of the last century is edifying.
Finally, France records, on average, 11,750 deaths per week, all causes combined. Last week, 93 people, most of them very old, died “with” Covid-19 (less than 0.8% of weekly deaths …).
With regard to Covid deaths, it should be recalled that the numbers reported are very uncertain. The examples of the United Kingdom which subtracted 5,303 deaths from its total on August 12 or Spain which did the same last June are there to prove it. Some developing countries do not have the means to collect reliable information. Others underestimate the number of deaths by forgetting, for example, voluntarily or not, to count deaths at home, others strongly overestimate this number by attributing to Covid alone, the deaths of very many patients suffering from multiple pathologies (including “old age”). Several of these pathologies, other than Covid, were often the primary cause of death.
Situation by continent, sub-continent, and most affected countries
1 – North America
Yesterday, the USA alone reported 17.3% of new Covid cases worldwide. They also reported more than 22.1% of the total losses of the epidemic (China 0.55%). The number of weekly deaths is down to 6,703 (-13%). The number of patients being treated exceeds 2.5 million and continues to increase (+ 40,000 in 1 week). The number of critical cases decreased by 640 to nearly 16,162. The lethality of the epidemic is finally declining in the United States.
Canada, for its part, seems almost out of the woods, with 44 deaths in the past week. Its mortality rate since the beginning of the epidemic is half that of the USA and its situation continues to improve. The number of reported critical cases is now only 50 (decreasing).
2 – Latin America
With nearly 271,000 reported deaths, Latin America is by far the part of the world most affected by the epidemic (in terms of the total number of victims and the second highest mortality rate per million inhabitants).
The situation in Brazil is beginning to improve. The number of new cases (3rd in the world behind India and the USA, with 17% of new cases worldwide) and the number of critical cases (3rd behind the USA and India at 8,318) remain high. The number of daily deaths has fallen behind that of India and the USA. Brazil has passed the epidemic peak. Deaths of less than 1,000/day are now expected to be the norm in the coming days and weeks.
In Mexico, the number of weekly deaths was 3,488. It is declining. This country has passed the epidemic peak. Together with Brazil, the USA and India, it should still record nearly 60% of the world’s deaths in the coming days.
In Latin America, the human losses are concentrated in ten states that report 98% of “Latino” deaths and more than 1,800 deaths each. Other countries in the Caribbean and South America are still relatively untouched by the epidemic.
3 – Asia
East and Southeast Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, both Koreas, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Burma …) is relatively unaffected by the pandemic. China continues to do well. With 96 new cases reported in 1 week, 288 patients still under treatment including 5 serious cases, and 0 new deaths, it remains in much better situation than a European continent, although half as populated, which has largely deconfined but still reports nearly 196,000 new cases last week (a very significant increase), more than 1.4 million patients under treatment (up) including 5,639 critical cases (+ 431) and which recorded 2,118 deaths in 1 week (- 200 compared to the previous 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 35 times more new cases (3,322), 18 times more critical cases (82) and many more new deaths than China (which has none) over the past week.
Indonesia, the most affected country in East Asia, has a mortality rate of 26 deaths per million people. Taiwan, the least affected, reports a mortality rate of 0.3 per million people. Japan, for its part, reports 1,230 deaths per 126 million h, or 1 death per 100,000 h.
It is therefore West Asia (India, Iran and neighboring countries in the Middle East) that are recording the bulk of the losses in Asia. It should be noted that Iran is still a country under “maximum” economic sanctions by the USA (to the benefit of Israel) and has the highest mortality rate in Asia at 252 deaths/million inhabitants. However, this rate remains much lower than the rates on the American and European continents.
Table presenting the situation and losses of the ten Asian countries that have exceeded 1,550 deaths
4 – Africa
Only South Africa is in a worrisome situation with an increasing number of new cases and deaths. Together with Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco and Sudan, it accounts for nearly 80% of African deaths.
5 – Europe
Despite alarmist statements by politicians and mainstream media in some EU countries, it is clear that while the circulation of the virus remains high and is increasing, the number of deaths reported in one week is decreasing and the number of serious cases remains below 5,650 for the entire continent, almost half of which is in Russia.
The lethality of the virus has therefore considerably decreased in Europe.
The real situation in the United Kingdom in deconfinement “seems” to be much improved. Thus, the number of critical cases “would be” only 71 (5 times less than in France). The level of weekly losses is 81 deaths reported this week). Total losses are and will remain by far the highest in Europe and should exceed 45,000 deaths at the end of the epidemic.
The situation in Italy is deteriorating: a slight increase in critical cases (+8 in one week), but a doubling of new cases (+8,346) and a tripling of patients under treatment (+6,357). The number of deaths is divided by 4 compared to last week. (45 in one week).
Situation in France
The situation in France can be described as stable even though the weekly number of new cases is increasing very significantly (+32,677). However, the number of new cases is not a determining factor in characterizing the lethality of an epidemic. Detecting tens of thousands of healthy carriers is of interest only to define the perimeter of the epidemic and to avoid an excessive spread. The two most relevant indicators are the number of critical cases, which has risen very slightly (+8 in one week to 387,) and the number of deaths: 93 over the week (+20 compared to last week). Its Covid mortality rate is, to date, 469 deaths per million inhabitants (excluding deaths at home), for a world average of 107.8 . 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” (no. of deaths / no. of confirmed cases), France remains world champion with a rate of 11.5%, which is gradually declining as a result of testing campaigns that detect many healthy carriers. (NB: Covid lethality worldwide: 3.38%, and European: 5.90%).
It is true that, apart from a few local exceptions (Marseille and Garches in particular), France has tested too little for too long, treated too many patients too late and relied too much on Doliprane and “spontaneous healing” to be able to hope to save a maximum number of lives.
The results of the research announced at the beginning of the 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 (+ 32,700 in 1 week). This enables it to acquire a better knowledge of the circulation of the virus, to apply targeted isolation measures for detected outbreaks and to treat them as soon as possible.
9.3% of French people have been tested, the majority of them during the deconfinement. The Germans tested 13.4% of their population, the Italians 13.9%, the Canadians 14.2%, the Portuguese 19.4%, the Americans 24.2%, the Russians 24.5%, the Danes 40.7% by applying the tests at the beginning of the epidemic. Thanks to the great effort made over the last 2 months, France has climbed from the depths to 58th place in the world for the number of tests per million inhabitants. So there is “something better”…, even if this result cannot be described as good.
After Russia, France remains the European country with the highest number of patients under treatment (150,300). This number is increasing (+6,300 in 1 week). However, the vast majority of treated cases are benign and do not all require hospitalization.
France also lags behind in terms of cures (33.3% of confirmed cases). It does less well than Senegal, which cured 67.9% of its patients, Morocco, which cured 73.6%, and Russia, which cured 81.4% (note that these 3 countries, along with more than fifty other countries, have used treatment protocols inspired by that of the IHU in Marseille).
France has healed less than Italy, which has healed 78% of its confirmed cases, Switzerland 84.2%, Austria 85%, Iran 86%, Germany, which has already sent 89.7% of its patients home, Turkey, which has healed 91.2%, etc.). The global cure rate for confirmed cases is now 69.4%, even though a majority of countries entered the epidemic well after us. The European rate is 58.3%, it should be much better at this stage of the epidemic. France is therefore, along with Belgium, the country that is pulling this European indicator down the most.
The situation in Spain is deteriorating. It declares 73 deaths in one week and returns to 5th position for losses in Europe (behind Russia, Romania, Ukraine and France). The number of new cases is rising sharply (+47,742 in one week) and the number of critical cases is up 210 to 751.
The situation in Germany is no longer improving and the lethality of the epidemic has stabilized: more cures than new cases. The number of patients under treatment fell by 15% in one week. The number of critical cases increases very slightly (+9 in one week). The number of deaths is decreasing and remains very low (32 in 1 week). Germany has ten times fewer patients on treatment than France for an equivalent number of confirmed cases.
With a mortality rate of 852 deaths per million inhabitants, Belgium will remain the European leader in this indicator (excluding microstates). It is now in 2nd position worldwide, behind Peru. The number of new cases is still high for a country of 11 million inhabitants (+3,322 in 1 week, a decrease of 665 from last week). The number of patients under treatment continues to increase (55,256 today, an increase of 3,185 in one week). It is also high in relation to the population. The Belgian cure rate is the lowest in the world (only 21.9% of reported cases to date). Belgium therefore remains the most active focus of the epidemic in Western Europe. It should be noted that Belgians report Covid deaths at home, which some of its neighbors do not.
In Russia, nearly one out of every four inhabitants has been tested, which represents the first screening rate for countries with more than 10 million inhabitants, hence the still high number of new cases reported (4,829 cases yesterday). With less than 165,000 patients under treatment, Russia is in 4th position behind the USA, Brazil and India. But this number is rapidly decreasing because the number of cures now greatly exceeds the number of new cases.
The number of daily deaths is decreasing. The Russian mortality rate per million inhabitants has reached 116. It is still 4 times lower than in France (469).
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 81.4% of its confirmed cases, i.e. nearly 800,000 patients. However, Russia entered the epidemic round one month after France, which has cured only 32.3% of its confirmed cases, i.e. nearly 86,000 patients.
Russia has therefore managed the Covid-19 crisis rather well. It has just started mass production of a vaccine after having passed the stages of its validation at the national level. Some 20 countries including Brazil, Mexico and India have already acquired it. The Russians are expected to begin vaccinations, on a voluntary basis, as early as September.
Below is the testimony of a former French Saint Cyrian and parachute officer, now living in Russia, on the management of the Covid crisis in this country (but not only).
The epidemic is slowly receding. This continent is still largely spared. Out of 42 million inhabitants, it has reported 28,148 cases to date, of which 22,674 have already been cured. There are still 4,862 “active” cases (declining), of which only 49 are in serious or critical condition (declining). The Oceanian continent declared 113 deaths this week. Its Covid mortality rate is 14.5 per million inhabitants (France 469).
The mortality rates per million inhabitants of the 34 countries that exceeded 2,020 deaths, in the table below, gives an idea of the most affected geographical areas and/or countries.
The table below shows the balance sheets of the 34 countries that reported more than 2,020 deaths (95% of the losses)
Table of data concerning Europe (and the EU) in the face of the epidemic
Reminder: worldwide Covid mortality rate: 107.8 deaths / Million inhabitants (and European 277 deaths / Million inhabitants).