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Covid-19 Update: 21st October 2020

Sharp rises in global infections leads to more than 2 million new cases since this time last week.

Covid-19 Update

Data are updated daily at 4pm BST. Commentary is updated weekly. Last commentary update October 21, 2020. 

October 21: With the winter in the northern hemisphere approaching the number of Covid-19 infections hit new records in a number of countries including Russia and Iran. Global cases also continued to see sharp rises with more than 2 million new cases since this time last week.

India continued to lead the trailing seven day averages for death rates globally, even if that number has come down recently from 1,067 at the start of the month to 761 today. But in what looks like a worrying turn for the US, seven day averages are increasing and could match, or exceed, those of India in the coming days unless something is done to turn the tide of infections.

Brazil is also seeing an uptick in trailing seven day averages for death and remains the second worst country for total Covid-19 related deaths.

Round up of cases and deaths

Worldwide – There continues to be a fall in the new cases of coronavirus infections versus seven day averages worldwide. But the total number of infections today has passed 40 million, following an extra 2 million infections since this time last week. And while case numbers remained high in the US with an additional 58,549 reporting new infections, the US for the first time in weeks reported a fall in new cases versus its seven day averages. Countries reporting both steep rises in day-on-day new infection rates and seven day averages included Brazil, Russia, the UK and Mexico.

The rising cases have seen governments across the globe resorting to ever more strict measures to curb infection rates, with some countries now closing schools and hospitality venues.

US – With Covid-19 deaths approaching a quarter of a million in the US, the country has seen a slowing in new infections, with new infections down against seven day averages. But there remain states where the number of infections continue to climb with Texas and Florida amongst the hardest hit regions. Fears of a rise in cases in Northeast of the country has led the governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut to urge against travel between the three states.

Europe – Countries across Europe have experienced sharp rises in new Covid-19 infections, with the likes of the UK, France and Netherlands reporting new infection rates higher than those seen in the spring. Today Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland all posted record daily highs for new infections. Along with the rising cases are the increasing restrictions to slow infection rates. The Czech Republic today ordered the closure of non-essential shops and asked citizens not to travel except for work and medical visits. Poland is considering halting classroom teaching for older children, including those in the last few years of primary school. In Spain, where infections are nearing the 1 million mark, the capital Madrid remains on partial lockdown and bars and restaurants have been closed in the Catalan region. In Belgium non-essential operations and routine hospital procedures have been cancelled to help deal with a surge in Covid-19 cases.  

Latin America – A reversal in recent falling new corona virus cases has not only seen Mexico report almost 2,000 more infections since yesterday’s numbers, but could impact on the country’s already grim mortality rates. With total deaths standing at almost 87,000 Mexico remains fourth in the world for Covid-19 mortality, with its rate outstripping many more populous countries. The recent rise in new cases has led the mayor of Mexico City to warn of tighter restrictions in the coming days.

Asia – Hopes that infection rates in India have well and truly peaked have been supported by the 54,044 new Covid-19 cases reported today, this compares with the 63,509 cases this time last week and the 100,000 plus the country was reporting a few weeks ago. If infection rates continue to fall the country might not, as previously predicted, over take the US in terms of total cases. But there are fears cases will rise during the holiday season in November.

ROW – Russia is continuing to keep its economy open and unlike other parts of the region has only resorted to shutting secondary schools. The country, however, today reported a record number of deaths. South Africa could be facing the prospect of returning to stricter lockdown measures following a surge in cases in the Western Cape.

Coronavirus in top 20 economic powers
Country Total cases Total deaths New daily cases: reported on 21 October Daily cases: reported on 20 October New daily cases: 7-day avg  New cases vs 7-day average
World 40,856,194 1,129,360 356,990 336,302 367,033 Down
United States of America 8,273,304 222,729 58,549 60,160 58,638 Down
India 7,651,107 115,834 54,044 46,790 59,403 Down
Brazil 5,273,954 155,244 23,227 15,383 21,318 Up
Russia 1,431,635 24,588 16,319 15,982 14,916 Up
Spain 988,322 34,374   13,873 13,177  
France 930,745 34,652 20,468 13,243 23,408 Down
Mexico 860,714 86,964 5,788 3,699 2,831 Up
United Kingdom 762,542 44,195 21,330 18,803 18,107 Up
Italy 434,449 36,951 10,871 9,337 9,360 Up
Germany 380,762 10,067 7,595 6,868 6,414 Up
Indonesia 368,842 12,674 3,602 3,373 4,016 Down
Turkey 351,413 9,477 1,894 2,026 1,783 Up
Saudi Arabia 342,968 5,218 385 381 419 Down
Netherlands 244,103 6,798 8,149 7,720 7,851 Up
Canada 203,688 9,988 2,251 3,289 2,606 Down
Japan 93,933 1,709 453 353 533 Down
China 91,022 4,738 16 34 24 Down
Switzerland 86,167 1,905 3,008 8,737 2,735 Up
Australia 27,430 905 31 9 18 Up
South Korea 25,424 447 91 58 77 Up
Source: ECDC as of 14:00 GMT and Evaluate research.
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Authors

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Edwin Elmhirst, Data Journalist, Evaluate Vantage
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Lisa Urquhart, Editor, Evaluate Vantage
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Anthony Raeside, Chief Research Officer, Evaluate