Relief or Not (?) as Virus Deaths Fall

Even though there are huge differences in the numbers of deaths per 100 000 of the population, the numbers are showing a clear fall from last week and that is a relief, at least for those countries on the list.

Deaths are generally reported in the same manner by officials over time, either out of habit, idleness or policy! That should result is having a reliable set of numbers that indicates the trend correctly, even if the numbers do not include deaths of older folk in care homes and only report, as in many countries, deaths in hospitals for positively tested infected patients.

When you look at the numbers ignore the absolute size of infections and deaths but concentrate only on deaths per 100 00 of the population. The number of infected patients both in absolute and relative terms is largely meaningless because it is based on testing, which at best is pretty random and not reliable. However, based on their incredibly low numbers, you can be fairly sure that Japan and Korea are underestimating the numbers of deaths from the Virus because both countries have a huge percentage of elderly people. In the last column you can see that these two countries have relatively high annual death rates, meaning that Virus deaths are probably classified elsewhere by officials for whatever reason.

The USA also appears to be under-counting Virus deaths because they should be nearer the other big countries like the UK, France and Italy. The US media have written many articles on this topic confirming that under-counting is clearly prevalent.

Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium all appear to have high rates of deaths per 100 000 and that is strange given the small size of their populations. 

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