Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research note published by Director of Research Daryl Jones on April 28th. CLICK HERE to get daily COVID-19 analysis and alerts from our research team and access our related webcasts.
“I believe that all roads lead to the same place – and this is wherever roads lead to.”
- Willie Nelson
- The U.S. currently has 1,105,034 cases of COVID-19 and is continuing the trend of between 25,000 – 30,000 new cases per day. New testing has ramped meaningfully, so, in part, the high case load is being driven by more testing.
- The global case count of COVID-19 is currently at 3,357,244. Similar to the U.S., global cases continue on the high plateau as some areas are seeing declining cases and others are seeing accelerating cases.
- Europe continues to see declining cases in the earliest and hardest hit areas -Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Nordic Countries. The U.K. and Russia, conversely, continue to see relatively high daily cases.
- Many of the emerging markets continue to see very bad numbers with very low testing. Brazil is particularly acute with a high number of deaths on a relative low case count.
- The next couple of weeks will be critical to watch as more and more states and countries ease restrictions.
- If cases start to spike, you might you see more updates from us.
As more testing has come online, the U.S. daily new case count has been volatile over the past week. On April 24th the U.S. added 38,000 cases, on April 27th the U.S. added 23,000, and yesterday the cases were back up over 30,000.
While this is nuanced discussion, and of course regional, it is noteworthy that many states are deciding to re-open their economies while the U.S., as a whole, is at a lot higher level then where we’ve seen European countries open.
In total the U.S. has performed 6,322,198 tests, has 1,068,892 positive results (positive test rate of 16.9%), and 57,509 deaths (morbidity rate of 5.3% on positive tests).
In recent weeks as testing has ramped up, the positive test rate has tended to be in the 11 – 13% range.
In general, the more populated U.S. states have seen their growth rates and daily new cases continue to decline, while the more rural areas seem to be more on the other side of the equation (the epidemic hitting meat packing plants is a catalyst for this).
Currently there are only five states that have a R0 (r naught) over 1 and these states are: Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Amazingly, just four weeks ago there were 45 states that had a R0 over 1. This is a great website for reviewing these numbers
Side note: R0 is basically the mathematical measure of transmission of a virus. Over 1 is bad and under 1 is good. The higher you go the worse it gets.
As noted above, Europe is currently a tale of two cities, as it were. On one end of the spectrum is the U.K. and Eastern Europe and on the other end is Western Europe.
The U.K. is in the long plateau stage and hasn’t seen any meaningful decline in daily new cases yet. In fact, yesterday saw a massive spike in new cases to 6,032, the second highest total since the start of the epidemic. In many ways the U.K. parallels the U.S., albeit with less testing and a higher morbidity rate.
Conversely, Italy continues to steadily improve and see lower new case counts almost every day at consistently less than 2,000, so on a like population basis is at ~40% of where both the U.S. and U.K. are currently. While each recovery has been a bit different, Spain, Germany and France are on the same path.
Russian, on the other hand, continues to set new highs in daily cases and today hit 7,933 new cases. In part, to give the Russians credit, this is due to a lot of testing. In fact, Russia has tested more people than any country except the U.S and has tested more on a per population basis.
Rest of the World Situation
For the last month, with the advent of global shutdowns, daily new COVID-19 cases have remained basically in the 75 – 85K range. So, on the positive the growth rate has been slowing, though on the negative active cases globally continues to grow.
Brazil continues to be the global hot spot, based on the numbers that we can track, and continues to see the highest growth rates among the world’s largest countries and hit new highs in daily cases.
Granted with a population of 200 million, 6,000 new cases a day does not seem like a lot, but practically the cases are much, much higher than the reported numbers as the test rates in Brazil are 20 – 30x less than we’ve seen across other comparably sized countries.
This is a common theme across most “emerging” markets:
- Mexico 635 tests per 1 million people
- India 654 tests per 1 million people
- Pakistan 825 tests per 1 million people
- Indonesia 374 tests per 1 million people
Said another way, these countries literally have no idea how many people are infected.
In some regions in Brazil, daily deaths are now running at 2–3x their normal pace and, sadly, don’t look to be slowing anytime soon.