#COVID-19: Comparing provinces with other countries 26 May Update

The latest charts, compiled 26 May as overall rates in Canada continue to come down along with increased vaccinations.

Vaccinations: Minor relative changes, with Alberta moving ahead of British Columbia and Ontario, Atlantic Canada ahead of Italy and France.

Trendline charts

Infections per million: Alberta levelling off and upsurge in Manitoba is resulted in Prairie rate marginally more than Ontario.

Deaths per million: No significant change.

Vaccinations per million: Canadian vaccination rates have largely caught up to G7 less Canada with Quebec ahead.

Weekly

Infections per million: Prairies ahead of Ontario, driven by Manitoba.

Deaths per million: No relative change.

India

While there is undercounting in all countries as analysis of above average deaths indicate (e.g., The Economist’s Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries), this article on India is of particular interest.

The official Covid-19 figures in India grossly understate the true scale of the pandemic in the country. Last week, India recorded the largest daily death toll for any country during the pandemic — a figure that is most likely still an undercount.

Even getting a clear picture of the total number of infections in India is hard because of poor record-keeping and a lack of widespread testing. Estimating the true number of deaths requires a second layer of extrapolation, depending on the share of those infected who end up dying.

In consultation with more than a dozen experts, The New York Times has analyzed case and death counts over time in India, along with the results of large-scale antibody tests, to arrive at several possible estimates for the true scale of devastation in the country.

Even in the least dire of these, estimated infections and deaths far exceed official figures. More pessimistic ones show a toll on the order of millions of deaths — the most catastrophic loss anywhere in the world.

India’s official coronavirus statistics report about 27 million cases and over 300,000 deaths as of Tuesday. The country’s response to the pandemic has been further complicated this week by a cyclone that is battering India’s eastern coast, with winds of more than 95 miles per hour.

Even in countries with robust surveillance during the pandemic, the number of infections is probably much higher than the number of confirmed cases, because many people have contracted the virus but have not been tested for it. On Friday, a report by the World Health Organization estimated that the global death toll of Covid-19 may be two or three times higher than reported.

The undercount of cases and deaths in India is most likely even more pronounced, for technical, cultural and logistical reasons. Because hospitals are overwhelmed, many Covid deaths occur at home, especially in rural areas, and are omitted from the official count, said Kayoko Shioda, an epidemiologist at Emory University. Laboratories that could confirm the cause of death are equally swamped, she said.

Additionally, other researchers have found, there are few Covid tests available. Families are often unwilling to say that their loved ones have died of Covid. And the system for keeping vital records in India is shaky at best. Even before Covid-19, about four out of five deaths in India were not medically investigated.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/05/26/world/covid-vaccine-coronavirus-mask

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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