Since first being recorded late final yr in China, the Covid-19 coronavirus has unfold world wide, and been declared a pandemic by the World Well being Group. Nevertheless, variations in testing imply that the variety of circumstances could also be understated for some international locations.
Clearly, bigger international locations are likely to have larger numbers each of circumstances and of deaths. However there are various different components in play, such because the demographic profiles of the international locations; international locations with ageing populations could also be hit more durable as a result of the illness is extra harmful to older individuals.
The variety of deaths is a extra reliable indicator. The illness has hit sure international locations, together with the US, Brazil, India, Mexico and the UK with specific cruelty.
Johns Hopkins College publishes circumstances and deaths knowledge for many international locations on the planet (a notable exception being North Korea, which claims to have had none). However JHU concedes that it collects knowledge from many sources, a few of which disagree with one another. Even the place the gathering is much less contentious there are important variations within the methods international locations take a look at, and in the way in which they report circumstances and deaths. Belgium, for example, attributes deaths to Covid-19 if the illness is a suspected trigger, even when no take a look at has been carried out.
Because of the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this text is being recurrently up to date to make sure that it displays the present state of affairs on the date of publication. Any important corrections made to this or earlier variations of the article will proceed to be footnoted consistent with Guardian editorial coverage.