Trends both Globally and for the USA appear to be heading in the Right Direction
By J Richard Fredericks, Main Management
The United States has the distinction of having the highest number of reported Coronavirus cases in the world with over 640,000 cases as well as the highest number of reported deaths at 28,306 (as of April 15th, 2020 around 2pm PST). Many observers have been focusing on the difficulties in Italy and Spain, but the numbers should be considered relative to the population of the country. The US has 5.6 times the population of Italy and has 7 times the number of people in Spain.
In the following tables, we show the absolute number of reported Covid-19 cases for the 25 countries which have the largest number of infections so far but we follow that by laying out total cases per million in population; the deaths per million in population; and the number of tests per million in population … all as of April 15th, 2020 around 2pm PST (as reported by worldometers.info).
|Country||Number of COVID-19 cases|
|Country||COVID-19 cases per million of population|
It remains too early to really feel comfortable that the numbers are truly accurate for all countries as we believe that some countries may not be entirely truthful (think China and Russia) while some may not yet have the capability to keeping close tabs on the numbers (Iran, Brazil). The numerator of the equation – the number of cases for people who have actually contracted the Coronavirus is fairly well known, but the denominator of the equation – the number of those that currently have or have had the virus is not well known as the testing has not been extensive and/or universally applied.
|Country||COVID-19 deaths per million of population|
|Country||Number of tests per million of population|
The standout of the Top 25 countries ranked by number of COVID-19 cases is South Korea, which has relatively few deaths per million of population (only 4) while testing slightly more than 10,000 per million of population. While that latter number would rank 11th highest of the Top 25 countries, South Korea was very early and very aggressive with their testing.
While not amongst the Top 25 countries with the largest number of COVID-19 cases, Taiwan is a real standout (especially given their proximity to China) with only 395 cases and 6 deaths. Sized by population, Taiwan has had only 17 cases per million people, 0.3 deaths per million, and 2,089 tests per million in population.
At this point, the USA numbers are essentially around the middle of the experience of the 25 countries. As noted above, the US has the largest number of reported cases, but on a population adjusted view, our country currently would rank either in the middle of the experience of nations with the 25 highest reported number of cases, or a bit below the middle of the pack.
Relative to our country’s total population, the USA would rank 19th out of 25 countries for the number of cases per million in population (1,934 cases per million); but we would rank 16th in deaths per million (86 per million) and rank 13th in tests per million (9,728 per million). After a slow start, the number of test kits are finally starting to become more widespread, which should result in a better reported experience and move the USA numbers to better levels.
We are particularly encouraged that recent numbers suggest a peaking trend in the total number of cases and deaths from the virus. As evidence, since the beginning of April, the number of new cases per day has been essentially flat with the figures trending from 26,655 on April 1st to 26,299 on April 15th. At the same time, the daily reported recoveries have now surpassed the number of newly reported deaths, as the number of recoveries have increased more than fivefold from 9,147 on April 1st to 47,942 on April 15th.
We are encouraged that the trends are starting to move in the right direction.
A pioneer in managing all-ETF portfolios, Main Management LLC is committed to delivering liquid, transparent and cost-effective investment solutions. By combining asset allocation insights with smart implementation vehicles, Main Management offers a unique approach that translates into distinct advantages for our clients, including diversification, cost efficiency, tax awareness and transparency. http://www.mainmgt.com