When you look at the only virus number that matters, which is the ratio of cases and deaths per million of population, Trinidad and Tobago with 114 cases and 8 deaths for 1.39 million people gets a score of 82 cases per million and 5 deaths per million.
Guyana with 63 cases and 6 deaths for its 779,004 population gets a score of 80 cases per million and 7 deaths per million.
Hold the celebration for a while. These two could well be in the early stages of the epidemic, and if it gets worse their already woefully weak medical systems could face a meltdown. They are not in a good position to access personal protection equipment and ventilators from a lunatic world market with literally everybody seeking those precious items.
So how are the big fish in the world doing? Generally bad with no excuses, in my opinion, and with few exceptions. Let’s take their population size and cases/deaths ratios as our criterion, all figures valid up to April 18, 2020.
Mighty America tops the virus cases with 706,779 and the death list with 32,823 deaths among its 331 million people to give a staggering ratio of 2135 cases and 99 deaths per million.
No surprise that President Trump is blaming China for his failures, as China with a measly 83,784 cases and 4632 deaths gets 58 cases per million and 3 deaths per million for its 1.4 billion people. In other word China has done 36 times better for cases than America and 33 times better for deaths.
Very strangely, several developed European countries with supposedly robust health systems and large populations have not done so well with the COVID virus. Spain’s 190,839 cases and 20,002 deaths got it a ratio of 431 cases and 434 deaths per million for its 46 million people. Italy’s 172,434 cases and 22,745 deaths made an unenviable 2873 cases and 379 deaths per million for its 60 million population.
France with 149,130 cases and 18,681 deaths had an unenviable ratio of 2294 cases and 287 deaths per million. Germany clocked 173 cases and 52 deaths per million, the United Kingdom registered 1638 cases and 217 deaths per million, and Canada was stumbling along with 32,857 cases and 888 cases and 35 deaths per million. Other first world nations like the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal and Austria, Ireland and Sweden all have caseloads over 13,000 and some less than attractive ratios.
Also on the “bad” list was Turkey, whose 78,546 cases and 1,769 deaths gave it ratios of 935 cases and 21 deaths per million, and Iran with 957 cases and 59 deaths per million.
What went wrong with these nations’ handling of the corona virus threat? Were they too slow, overconfident, their health systems not as strong as advertised, or did their leaders lack the will to impose draconian measures like the Chinese?
You may discover why nobody, no nation, WHO, epidemiology centre like the CDC, or media wants to use ratios per million like me – they don’t want to make certain people look bad.
But big is not necessarily bad in this virus business and we should look at some of the exceptions. Brazil with 212 million people has 34,221 cases but 15 cases per million and 0.8 deaths per million. Russia’s 145 million people have had 32,208 cases but only 273 deaths, with ratios of 220 cases per million and 1 death per million. India registered 14,425 cases and 488 deaths for an enviable ratio of 10 cases per million and 0.35 deaths per million, even better than China. Pakistan with 220 million has 34 cases per million and 0.65 deaths per million, yes even better than America and China. Indonesia with 273 million population has 21 cases and 1.9 deaths per million.
What did they do that America, Spain, France, Germany, the UK, Turkey and Iran couldn’t or wouldn’t do? Or is it that these good results are only because they are in the early phases of the pandemic and serious blows could come later?
Trinidad and Guyana should take note of this possibility and act now to ensure they can handle a surge of over a hundred corona virus cases a day. I’m reasonably sure they can’t do so now. Think about it. Can Trinidad cope with 700 new corona virus cases needing hospitalization in one week? Can Guyana?
Finally, can somebody say why I am the only person who thinks that case and death ratio per million is something useful and important for figuring out who is doing well and who is not with this virus?