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The human cost of coronavirus has continued to mount, with more than 210m cases confirmed globally and more than 4.4m people known to have died.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic in March and it has spread to more than 200 countries, with severe public health and economic consequences. This page provides an up-to-date visual narrative of the spread of Covid-19, so please check back regularly because we are refreshing it with new graphics and features as the story evolves.
Europe’s average count of coronavirus-related deaths overtook Asia’s in early March 2020. From mid-April, focus shifted to the US, where the number of deaths has remained consistently high, although the focus of the epidemic has shifted from the northeast to other regions of the country. Latin America became the epicentre of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, with the region accounting for almost a half of deaths each day. However, the surge in Europe since the autumn means Covid-19 remains a global pandemic.
With several vaccines approved for use, the race is now on for countries to vaccinate their populations:
There are concerns, however, that reported Covid-19 deaths are not capturing the true impact of coronavirus on mortality around the world. The FT has gathered and analysed data on excess mortality — the numbers of deaths over and above the historical average — across the globe, and has found that numbers of deaths in some countries are more than 50 per cent higher than usual. In many countries, these excess deaths exceed reported numbers of Covid-19 deaths by large margins.
There are several different ways of comparing excess deaths figures between countries. In absolute numbers, more people than would usually be expected have died in the in the US than in any of the other countries for which recent all-cause mortality data is available.
Adjusting for typical mortality rates, the five hardest hit countries worldwide where data is available are all in Latin America. Peru has seen more than double the number of deaths it sees in a typical year, and neighbouring Ecuador has seen a 67 per cent increase. Nicaragua (a 59 per cent rise), Bolivia (56) and Mexico (55) complete the top five.
From business closures to movement restrictions, some countries’ policies show first signs of easing. Follow the changes here using our interactive tool.
As Covid-19 spread beyond China, governments responded by implementing containment measures with varying degrees of restriction. Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government have compiled data on a range of government response measures, such as school and workplace closures and restrictions on travel and gatherings, to create a stringency index.
East Asian countries including South Korea and Vietnam were the first to follow China in implementing widespread containment measures, with much of Europe, North America and Africa taking much longer to bring in tough measures.
India’s sudden implementation of a strict 21-day lockdown propelled it to the top of the index, making it the first country reported to have hit the index’s upper limit of 100 for more than a single day.
Help the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford university improve the stringency index used in this map by providing direct feedback.
Unless otherwise stated below, the data used for cases and deaths in these charts comes from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and reflects the date that cases or deaths were recorded, rather than when they occurred.
Data for the US, its individual states, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands is calculated from county-level data compiled by the Johns Hopkins CSSE.
Data for the Cook Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, North Korea, Palau, Pitcairn, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna comes from the World Health Organization.
Data for Sweden after April 5 2020, is calculated from the daily difference of cumulative figures published Tuesday through Fridays by the Swedish Public Health Agency. Unlike most other countries, Sweden uses “date of incidence” figures for its official death toll, so these “date of reporting” figures will not match official data for the most recent days.
UK deaths and new cases data, and all data from that nations of the UK, comes from the UK Government coronavirus dashboard.
The full excess mortality dataset used for this analysis is freely available for download on Github. It is compiled from data originally produced by official statistics agencies or civil registries in each of the jurisdictions mentioned. The full list of sources is also available on our Github repository.
National sources are used for Austria, Germany, and the UK. Data for the US as well as its territories or associated states — American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands — comes from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Unless otherwise stated, population figures used to adjust data come from the World Bank. Population data for Anguilla and Western Sahara come from the United Nations Population Division. Data for Eritrea comes from the WHO. Local sources are used for: Ascension, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Cyprus (and northern Cyprus), the Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Moldova, St Helena, Taiwan, Tristan da Cunha the UK, the US and Vatican City.
Help us improve these charts: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback, requests or tips about additional sources of national or municipal all-cause mortality data. Thank you to the many readers who have already helped us with feedback and suggestions. We continue to incorporate your suggestions and data every day. We will respond to as many people as possible.
Reporting, data analysis and graphics by Steven Bernard, David Blood, John Burn-Murdoch, Oliver Elliott, Max Harlow, Joanna S Kao, William Rohde Madsen, Caroline Nevitt, Alan Smith, Martin Stabe, Cale Tilford and Aleksandra Wisniewska. Edited by Adrienne Klasa
Corrections: Due to a typographical error, the first paragraph of this story incorrectly stated the number of people who had died from Covid-19 for several hours on April 9, 2020. At the time, that figure should have read 87,741. Due to a typographical error, a map on this story temporarily showed an incorrect number of deaths from Covid-19 in Italy on May 14, 2020. At the time, that figure should have read 31,106.
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