It was a weekend that saw a succession of grim milestones asthe coronavirus diseasecontinues to ravage countries around the world — with the US, Brazil and India being the most affected.
The global case number will most likely cross the 20-million mark on Monday. On Saturday, the US crossed the 5-million case mark, Brazil crossed the 3-million case mark, and also 100,000 deaths, and, closer home,Maharashtra, the Indian state worst affected by the pandemic, crossed 500,000 cases. All are worrying numbers.
The US, with a little over 5 million cases as of Sunday morning has added 47% of its caseload since July 1. July and August have been bad months for all three countries. India, with around 2.15 million cases as of Sunday morning, added 73% of its caseload in the same time. And Brazil, with a little over 3 million cases, added 53% of its caseload in the 39-day period. The numbers have been compared using data from worldometers.info.
It is a mathematical certainty that deaths will rise, if only with a lag, as cases increase (they have continued to in India and Brazil; the US saw a dip in mid-June, with 7-day average of daily new cases falling to the low 20,000s, but has since witnessed a sharp rise; the current 7-day average according to the New York Times databases is around 54,000; all 7-day averages are from the database). The US has seen this, with 7-day average of daily deaths climbing to around 1,000 now, after falling to the 500s in June. India’s 7-day average of daily deaths has risen to around 860. Brazil’s has been around the 1,000 mark since late May. The overall case fatality rate (number of deaths as a proportion of number of cases) for the US was 3.2%, India, 2%, and Brazil, 3.33%. Even as the number of cases has increased, this proportion has declined for all three countries — the corresponding numbers on June 30 for the US was 4.8%, Brazil, 4.2%, and India, 3%. Clearly, as this columnist has previously mentioned, we appear to be getting better at saving lives — which is understandable. Doctors around the world are discovering which intervention and medicine works best at each stage of the disease, information that is being shared almost in real-time. Some of the therapies (including plasma therap