Coronavirus deaths in many of the hardest-hit Western countries appear to be plateauing, and even falling in some cases.
The trends were discovered in an analysis of data compiled by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, showing figures in several countries since they recorded more than 10 new deaths a day.
It must be noted that reporting methods differ between countries, many do not reflect the overall death toll and caution must be taken when comparing countries. But the numbers – which are based on seven-day averages – nevertheless reveal interesting trajectories.
There are signs the death rate in the UK is starting to plateau, after it recorded the smallest increase in nearly two weeks. Britain is one of five countries that has recorded more than 10,000 coronavirus-linked deaths. Health authorities say the UK is still in the middle of its outbreak.
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Italy is beginning to see a glimmer of hope after being the first European country to be badly hit by the pandemic. Its daily death rate has started to fall over the past two weeks – steepening in recent days – and is now at half of what it was at the peak of the country’s crisis. It has recorded the second-highest death toll in the world at more than 23,600.
Coronavirus-related deaths in Spain are also trending downwards. The country reported 399 coronavirus deaths in a day on Monday, which was 11 less than Sunday. It has so far recorded more than 20,000 confirmed deaths.
The world’s hardest-hit country continues to record a rising death toll, which surpassed 41,100 at the weekend. This growth has slowed in some parts of the country, including in the country’s hotspot of New York. Overall, new daily deaths have fallen to the same rate as 10 days ago, suggesting the country could be making progress on flattening the curve.
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France reported its lowest daily death count in nearly three weeks at the weekend, adding to the European countries that appear to be plateauing. It has recorded nearly 20,000 deaths.
Germany is seeing a similar downward trend. Its new daily death figure dropped by more than 60% in two days at the weekend, from 300 on Friday to around 104 on Sunday. On Monday it had recorded 4,642 deaths.
Iran was the Middle East’s hardest hit country, but its new death rate has been steadily declining for roughly the past fortnight. On Monday morning the toll stood at 5,209 – with 91 deaths in the past 24 hours – indicating the falling trajectory is continuing.
Brazil appears to still be reaching its peak, with more cases and deaths than any other country in Latin America. On Sunday, its death toll stood at 2,462.
Turkey only reported its first coronavirus patient on March 10, and soon saw the number of confirmed cases and deaths rise sharply. But the growth of new deaths has slowed over the past two weeks to around 120 per day. The country has reported more than 2,000 fatalities since the pandemic began.
Ireland’s new daily death rate has slowed considerably since the start of April, though it has since seen spikes. Some 490 people had died with coronavirus in the country by Sunday.
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Switzerland was among Europe’s worst affected countries in Europe, with more than 1,000 deaths. Cantons Ticino, Vaud, Geneva and Valais were the the hardest hit. However, its daily death rate has also been falling.
Cases and deaths in India continue to climb – and health authorities expect it won’t reach its peak until May. Its new daily death rate fell slightly a few days ago but has risen again, with forty deaths reported in the past 24 hours – bringing it to a total of 559.
Russia appears to not yet have reached its peak – a sentiment echoed by its president, Vladimir Putin, on Monday. It has recorded 405 deaths linked to COVID-19.
The central city of Wuhan, the first coronavirus-hit area, revised its official death toll up by 50% last week, adding 1,290 more deaths, raising more questions about the accuracy of its figures. The country had previously reported multiple days of no deaths with COVID-19 with more than a week of single digit death toll, after several weeks of a sharp rise.