Another sad week has gone by but the order of the country death numbers have not changed much, although the numbers of total deaths has doubled.
Those countries that have imposed tougher restrictions on movement and/or have ramped up testing have done well in maintaining their position as shown in the lowest numbers of deaths per 100 000 of the population. This is clearly seen with Sweden, the UK and Austria that are all showing up big increases in deaths over the week.
The best explanation is probably because they have slower infection rates and this puts less stress on the hospitals that are then able to give better care.
There will be more infections and more deaths of the critically ill patients when there are fewer doctors, nurses, equipment, protective clothing and other available resources and measures. Filling up hospitals too much increases infection rates.
Little more can be said at this stage because the variables are moving so quickly but the changes (the last column in the second table) shows that those countries with the weakest social distancing measures and movement restrictions have seen faster increases in deaths.
It is too early to comment on Spain and Italy but they appear to have a slower increases even though they are in the worst positions of this group. It is worth noting that Veneto Region had introduced tougher movement restrictions and higher levels of swabbing from cars early on and now they have very few deaths per 100 000 of the population, compared to the Lombard region that was lax in movement controls and social distancing and people appear to have relied much more on using private hospitals for being tested – hospitals being centres of high infection.
The only consolation for Italy and Spain is that they may be seeing the rate of increase in the numbers of deaths falling during the following weeks.