Coronavirus Around the World – June 2020

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We’ve hit the end of another month so I had time to sort through the WHO data to look and see where the current hot spots are. Things have settled down here in the US but that is not case elsewhere. I guess there is the Delta variant which is supposedly bigger and badder than the original although, given their track record, I have a hard time taking the doom and gloom announcements seriously.

All data were taken from the WHO site. And I’m only looking at places with more than 5000 cases. If I went below that, Fiji would jump out as a hot spot. They may make the list in July.

First, here is a table showing the percentage increase in cases and deaths for the month of June. I’ve used the WHO regions here which don’t correspond to the continents. The top tier of countries in Africa get put into the Eastern Med region. Asia is split into three regions and the Western Pacific includes Australia and New Zealand. North and South America are put into one big region.

WHO RegionCasesDeaths
East Med8.77.3
SE Asia9.720.7
W Pacific17.720.1

The death figure for the Americas is inflated because Peru reclassified a bunch of deaths as being related to COVID adding a one time bump of close to 100000. The biggest increases in cases were in the Western Pacific and Africa and the biggest increases in deaths were in SE Asia and the Western Pacific. Part of the SE Asia total is the lag from India following their most recent spike which has fallen off. Europe saw very little increase.

I’m using percentage increase which probably favors places that started with lower numbers. But percentages seem more relevant because if you truly had exponential growth, it wouldn’t matter as much where you started.

So we’ll focus on places with the highest percentage increase but that are also seeing case counts peak towards the end of the month.

Vietnam had the biggest increase going from 7152 cases at the end of May to 16491 at the end of June. In second place was Mongolia which went from 57512 cases at the end of May to 113232 cases at the end of June. Graphs for both are shown below and both have been mentioned before. Neither one had a significant number of COVID cases until March of this year. Mongolia saw things drop but then turned around and increased to a higher peak although it looks like they are trending down now.

There were six countries where cases increased by more than 60%. These were Cambodia (69%), Uganda (68%), Afghanistan (65%), Thailand (62%), Zambia (61%) and Namibia (60%). We do see a cluster in SE Asia. Of these five, cases seem to have peaked in Uganda, Afghanistan and Zambia. So I’ll just show graphs of Cambodia and Thailand.

Both places had a big increase starting in early April and have gone up and down through May and June but each finished with a new high in the average number of cases. In the WHO world, Cambodia joins Vietnam in the Western Pacific while Thailand is part of SE Asia. I’m sure they have logic for their boundaries.

After this, we drop down to Suriname (47% increase), Eritrea (46%) and Trinidad (41%). The next group that includes places with more than a 30% increase are Rwanda (39%), Sri Lanka (36%), Seychelles (35%), Timor-Leste (34%), Cuba (33%), Sierra Leone (33%) and Malaysia (32%). Some of these places peaked in early or mid June so they really aren’t hot spots right now.

So we’ll just finish with three countries that hit a new peak in average number of cases at the end of the month. From the list above, it includes Rwanda and Cuba and the last place is Zimbabwe.

Looks like a wave is just starting and setting new highs
Cuba – Note that the last couple of days the raw case counts are way above the average. Really big growth in the last couple of days.
Zimbabwe – also showing fast case growth

If I just looked at recent data, a couple of these would make the top of the list.

While there are some exceptions, the current hot spots are in SE Asia and southern Africa. In the US, we’ve been able to be more relaxed but certainly the virus is not yet done impacting the world.

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