Indicators of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak development
(A.B. Alyokhin, B.V. Burkynskyi, A.N. Grabovoi, V.A, Dilenko, N.I. Khumarova)
02/09/2020. S-No 152.
In today’s monitor, we will move away of presenting analytical material on usual scheme for the following reasons.
Firstly, the epidemiological situation in the world remains extremely tense, and the pandemic is clearly become protracted. At the same time, the IP progress indicator has an academic balanced character, and even a rapid drop in the level of this indicator in a particular country can perceived rather calmly.
Secondly, people often get sick, and this is very bad. However, the real tragedy is the loss of life. In case of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as a rule, there are innocent people who could not be protecting by the state, whose main constitutional duty is to protect the lives of its citizens.
Thirdly, representatives of states, public figures often deliberately or unknowingly bypass the most acute corners in assessing the pandemic. In particular, this is manifest in the use of mortality rates.
As the IP Progress Indicator is the ratio of two generally accepted case fatality rates (see links to publications on this subject at the end of each monitor), it is necessary to introduce it in brief analysis of case fatality rates in today’s monitor.
In this regard, fourthly, we cannot indifferent look how the mortality rates are manipulating in media. It is possible often hear that “God has mercy” on Ukraine, there are few deaths, and the mortality rate is low in comparison with other European countries. In fact, this is far from the case. Apparently, such statements, serve as a cover for inactivity or insufficiently effective activities of the main participants in the fight against the coronavirus.
We have written more than once that in medical statistics there are two most common indicators of mortality:
- ratio of the number of deaths in the total number of infected, I (TC);
- ratio of the number of deaths to the number of closed cases (the sum of the number of deaths and the number of recovered), I (CC).
1. The level of the first indicator is always (until the epidemic ends) below on the level of the second.
2. The first one grow when the epidemic approaches become to the end, and second one to it decrease.
3. At the moment and after the end of epidemic (there is not a single new infected person, all patients either recovered or died, that is, all cases of infection are closed), the values of both mortality rates become equal.
4. In the phase of rapid spread of the infection, both of indicators cannot informative, especially, in its initial phase.
5. The mortality rate I (TC) decreases if the number of new infections rises rapidly. Thus, it underestimates the true mortality rate, since it does not take into account that some of the infected will subsequently die.
6. Index I (CC) reflects the real current mortality, indicating the proportion of deaths in the number of closed cases, i.e. characterizes in a certain way the ratio of the dead and recovered. In fact, it is an indicator of the percentage of “marriage” of the medical system.
By virtue of paragraph 1, officials usually use the mortality rate I (TC). It looks especially good in official reports, summaries and briefings.
Armed with this information, consider the diagrams in Fig. 1–2.
They show the dynamics of the mortality rate I (CC), calculated for closed cases. (In the diagram in Fig. 2, for clarity, only the leaders in this indicator among the countries that are the objects of our monitoring are left.)
Diagram 3 provides final clarity of who is who in the lethality issue. As can be seen from this rating, Ukraine is “protected by God” in much, the same way as the whole world is protected. Moreover, Ukraine is in close proximity to the United States, about which hardly anyone would dare to say something similar.
In this regard, we draw attention to the following circumstance.
In the United States, with a slightly higher mortality rate than in Ukraine, the number of coronavirus victims is huge, which is a direct consequence of the extremely large number of infected. Nevertheless, this means that the main tool for preventing such tragedies is to reduce the growth in the number of new infected people, and not to prepare new beds for new patients. Every new thousands of patients in Ukraine today means 43 new deaths. In addition, extra beds for these people will not save them. They will not allow more of this thousand people to die, as it was in Italy during the period of overcrowding in hospitals and the impossibility of providing proper care to all patients. However, the possibilities for increasing the number of hospital beds are not endless. Moreover, in Ukraine, such opportunities are extremely limited.
Now about the myth that Ukraine has one of the lowest mortality rates. The diagram in Fig. 4 shows the mortality rates in all countries and other subjects of Europe (data https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries)). As you can see, Ukraine in Europe, as well as in the world as a whole, also occupies a middle position.
Therefore, if you want our forecasts to become more optimistic, while maintaining high accuracy, we must not rely on “mercy” from above, but roll up our sleeves and work just as hard, and the best, even harder, as the coronavirus does, reaping its “fruits” wherever it allowed…. To know where it allows him, it is enough to look at the coronavirus map of Ukraine, Europe, World.
After such statistical facts and charts, our usual charts and ratings on the level of progress in the development of a pandemic really seem calm, academic.
Over two reporting days, of September 1, 2020, since the release of the previous monitor, negative trends in the development of the epidemic in the countries we monitored and the pandemic as a whole remain (see Fig. 5–8).
All the same “leaders”, all the same “outsiders” as in the diagram with the daily change rating (Fig. 7), as in the diagram with the overall rating (Fig. 8).
“Leaders” empty beds faster than filling them up at a high level of new patients and new recovered, thus supporting the sluggish level growth of the progress indicator in such simple way.
Outsiders fill the beds with new infected, thus increasing the number of active patients and decreasing the level of the progress indicator.
Each new infect of coronavirus in the world and in each individual country counts its percentage.
At times one gets the impression that everyone is happy with this.
The achievement of the indicator of progress (IP) equal to 1.00 means the end of the epidemic in the corresponding region, i.e. at the time when there are no new infected, current patients are absent, all previously infected have added to the lists of those who have recovered and died.
Diagram 1 shows the values of the IP progress indicator for all countries in the world together taken, China, countries of the world with the exception of China and a number of other countries.
Diagram 2 shows the “leaders” from the analyzed regions and countries.
Diagram 3 shows the “average”.
For clarity, Diagram 4 shows only “outsiders” from the analyzed regions and countries.
The terms “leaders”, “average” and “outsiders” used solely to differentiate countries and regions according to the level of the IP epidemic progress index and to separate them into different charts for easy viewing and visual comparison.
At the end of the epidemics, the values of both mortality rates should be equal.
Mortality indicators widely used in medical statistics are not capable of sufficient informative reflecting the dynamics of the epidemics development at the initial stage. In contrast, the IP progress indicator records changes in the epidemics development of quite accurately and informatively practically throughout the entire life cycle of the epidemic.
Sources of statistical data:
Our materials also:
Accuracy of our forecasts:
Publications on case fatality rates and progress indicator: