Which country is affected by the virus and how badly? What are governments doing to fight Sars-CoV-2? The most important data and facts about the corona virus.
The “extraordinary situation” according to the Epidemic Law has prevailed in Switzerland for seven weeks. On March 16, the Federal Council tightened measures to protect the population. Shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment and leisure facilities were closed, as were schools and universities. Since Monday, April 27th, hairdressing, cosmetic and massage studios, hardware stores, garden centers, flower shops and garden centers have been reopened, with further easing to follow.
The measures are intended to slow down the spread of the virus and, above all, to prevent many people from falling ill at the same time and the health system from collapsing, because the number of cases had initially continued to increase. Now it can be seen that this growth is leveling off considerably. In addition, the majority of patients have probably recovered.
Calculations by the research team led by Tanja Stadler at ETH Zurich indicate that the restrictive measures worked in Switzerland. Based on the confirmed infections, the number of hospitalizations and deaths, the working group reconstructed how the so-called reproductive number in Switzerland has developed since the beginning of March. This number must be less than 1 to stop exponential growth. Because on average, an infected person is less infected than another. According to the calculations, the number of reproductions in Switzerland is now between 0.65 and 0.8 with a high probability.
The statistics of weekly deaths in Switzerland are slowly showing how serious the Covid 19 pandemic is compared to a flu outbreak. In calendar week 14 (ending on April 5), there were 411 more deaths in people over 65 years of age than would be statistically expected at that time. In the following weeks, however, the number decreased again.
For comparison: At the height of the flu wave in 2015 there were around 270 more deaths than expected, in 2017 there were 230 more. To count all cases of current mortality alone against Covid-19 would be wrong, because the lung disease is rarely the only cause of death. Many patients have some serious pre-existing conditions. According to the figures from the Federal Statistical Office, there is currently no evidence of over-mortality among people under the age of 65.
The following graphics always show confirmed coronavirus infections. The number of known infected people always lags behind reality. It can be assumed that the number of people effectively infected with the virus is higher everywhere. For one thing, in many countries only risk patients and patients with strong symptoms are tested. On the other hand, about five days pass between the infection and the appearance of the first symptoms, and the Sars CoV-2 test and its evaluation also take time.
An international comparison makes it clear that the spreading curve is currently flatter in Switzerland than in Italy or Germany. It rises more steeply in the USA, but a flattening is now also discernible there.
The number of cases in Switzerland is now growing by less than one percent per day, and the increase has slowed considerably. This growth was earlier and more strongly reduced in Switzerland than in Germany, Italy or the USA.
However, South Korea was even faster than in Switzerland, where the authorities carried out a comparatively large number of tests at an early stage in order to be able to precisely understand the spread, so that infected people were strictly isolated.
You can read our analysis of the measures taken in six regions in the United States, including South Korea and Switzerland, which are badly affected.
The slowdown in the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland is likely to be a consequence of the “extraordinary situation” that has been in effect since March 16, which severely restricts public life.
A study by the market research institute Intervista on behalf of the ETH and the canton of Zurich shows how much the distance traveled by the Swiss has reduced in recent days.
In all age groups, the daily distance traveled per person has dropped to significantly less than 10 kilometers on average; people under the age of 25 have adjusted their behavior the most. No significant increase is visible even after the first easing.
The study is based on the movement data of around 2500 people who have their movement tracked using an app. The numbers were weighted in such a way that they are representative of the Swiss population aged 15 to 79.
Despite this good news: with around 351 confirmed infections per 100,000 inhabitants, Switzerland is severely affected by the corona virus, and only five countries have more cases per capita. According to the cantons’ figures, there are currently a total of almost 30,000 cases in Switzerland.
The USA is also ahead of Switzerland, with a population of 328 million, which is around 38 times as large as that of Switzerland.
The per capita comparison of those infected should also be used with caution. First, because in countries with a smaller population the share of per capita increases faster than in larger countries, and second, because many countries have very different test procedures. Countries like Norway and Switzerland tested much more per capita than the UK or France. (As of April 30th)
The number of deceased is therefore more meaningful for a country comparison. But here, too, Switzerland has a relatively high number per inhabitant. To date, around 26 people in Switzerland have died from Covid-19 lung disease per 100,000 inhabitants.
However, other countries are more affected. Belgium, with a population of 11 million similar to Switzerland, has more than three times as many deaths per capita and is ahead of Spain or Italy. Belgium also counts fatalities in nursing homes, while other countries only consider fatalities in hospitals.
In the management report of the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) (as of April 29), the cases confirmed in Switzerland, the hospitalized and the deceased are shown by age and gender. Of those who tested positive, 54 percent are women and 46 percent men. In the age group 80 and older, there are most cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
There is information about over 3600 people about their hospitalization. More men than women are hospitalized across all age groups, 61 percent of those hospitalized are men. The median age is 72 years. Complete data are available for 3,223 hospitalized people, 87 percent of whom had at least one previous medical condition, the most common being high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Broken down by cantons, it can be seen that it is no longer Ticino as in the beginning, but the canton of Geneva that is most severely affected by the corona virus. According to the cantons’ figures, almost 1,000 people per 100,000 inhabitants are already infected with the virus there.
Many European countries have introduced restrictive measures in recent weeks. The following map shows the Overview of the situation in Europe:
The red-colored countries have imposed a national curfew, as Italy did on March 9th.
Spain has the highest number of infected people in Europe, followed by Italy, France and the UK.
The countries with the highest number of cases in Europe also have a high proportion of patients who have died; well over 20,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Spain, France and Italy. In Germany, with a comparable number of confirmed cases, there are currently only over 6,800 deceased.
European mortality data show how serious the Covid 19 pandemic is compared to a flu outbreak. The Euromomo network gathers data from various European countries on mortality.
In England, the number of deaths deviates the most from the statistically expected value, and the rash far exceeds that of the flu. In Spain, Italy, Belgium or the Netherlands, too, the values are higher than with a flu wave. In Ireland, Finland or Denmark, however, there is no sign of over-mortality.
According to figures from the Federal Statistical Office, there is currently no significant over-mortality in Germany.
The statisticians report that the flu wave 2020 has been over since mid-March and thus the number of daily deaths should actually decrease, as in previous years. However, since it is rising slightly, it is obvious that the currently comparatively high values are related to the corona pandemic.
In the United States, the number of confirmed infections continues to rise sharply, the total number is higher than anywhere else. Since March 26, more cases have been counted in the United States than in China and Italy, and the million of confirmed cases has now been exceeded.
This development is particularly worrying because the spread of the virus in the United States can only be slowed down slowly. The growth is slower than in other countries.
The development in the number of deaths in the USA also gives little hope: growth continues to be stronger than in France, Italy or Spain.
The largest virus focus in the United States is in New York. In the metropolis alone, around 174,000 people have already tested positive for the corona virus (as of May 2nd). Several other thousands of cases are currently also counted in other large cities.
How the virus spreads in the United States
The state of Washington is also badly affected. According to the Guardian, the high number of people infected there may also be due to the fact that a lot of testing was carried out early on, because the first case in the United States became known in Washington State.
Since the end of March there have been more cases outside of China than in the country of origin of the pandemic. In addition, a large number of patients have recovered in all provinces. Individual provinces like Hunan and Anhui have managed to survive that almost all sufferers. Of around 1,000 patients each, only four died in Hunan and six in Anhui.
Most cases in China have occurred in Hubei Province, from where the pandemic started. After the disease broke out, the Chinese government initially sealed off its place of origin in Wuhan, and large parts of Hubei Province soon followed. Wuhan quickly set up temporary hospitals. At the same time, production for masks and other necessary goods was ramped up because the outbreak occurred around the Chinese New Year. Outside of Hubei, the authorities also restricted the population’s freedom of movement.
On March 14, the authorities in Hubei relaxed the measures outside of Wuhan. Only the city of origin is still considered a high-risk zone. Other provinces have also eased their quarantine in the past few days. Around 63,600 patients have currently recovered and around 4,500 people have died in Hubei, and no more infected people have been reported. However, the authorities corrected the number of deaths sharply on April 17 – this approach raises questions.
China now faces two challenges: First, the country has to start the economy again without triggering a new outbreak. On the other hand, there is now a danger that travelers from abroad will bring the disease back in again.
The corona virus is spreading globally. The pandemic has affected over 189 countries. Of the almost 3.5 million people whose infection with the virus has been confirmed, around one million are already cured, which is about 32 percent (as of May 3). The number of people who are currently ill has risen sharply since the beginning of March.
The number of deaths is the most accurate when it comes to showing the progression of the epidemic. In contrast to the confirmed number of cases, where there are large uncertainties such as different counting methods and high or low testing intensity, the number of deaths is usually reliable, even if there may be differences in the method of recording.
To date there have been more than 245,000 deaths worldwide. The United States, France, Great Britain, Spain and Italy have absolutely the most Covid 19 deceased. The following graphic shows how the daily number of deceased develops. We calculate the average of the last seven days for each day.
The graphic shows that the daily number of deaths is declining in many countries – including Switzerland. If you look at those 30 countries with the most corona deaths, then more than two thirds have exceeded the peak for the time being. However, some countries still have increasing deaths every day. These include, for example, Brazil, Canada or Russia.
The development of the pandemic can be divided into different phases: the virus first appeared in the Chinese province of Hubei, then spread throughout the country and in other countries in the region. However, the number of confirmed cases in China has stabilized in the past month and most patients have recovered. The virus has now arrived in Europe and on other continents and is spreading further and further.
Whether or not a country copes well with the corona virus also depends on the level of preparation for a pandemic. A large-scale study that examines 195 countries in detail concludes that richer countries tend to respond better to an outbreak.
But even the USA, the country best prepared for a pandemic, is only rated 83.5 points and could therefore improve. Switzerland achieved 13th place with two thirds of the possible points. Many countries in Africa and the Middle East are particularly poorly prepared. Venezuela, where there has been a bad economic and supply crisis since 2013, is in a bad position.
North Korea is also in an unfortunate situation. If the virus arrives from one of the two heavily affected neighboring countries, China and South Korea, the population is at risk of disaster. Many North Koreans are malnourished and therefore weakened, while the country’s health system is on the ground.
Das Regime in Nordkorea behauptet jedoch weiterhin, im Land gebe es keinen einzigen Fall des Coronavirus. Mehr als 2000 Menschen seien jedoch in Quarantäne. Die Krisenzeit nutzt die Regierung, um mehrere Raketentests durchzuführen.
Eine Geschichte von Nikolai Thelitz, Alexandra Kohler, Barnaby Skinner, Jonas Oesch, Balz Rittmeyer, Joana Kelén, Anja Lemcke, Julia Monn, Christian Kleeb, Dominik Batz und Kaspar Manz.
Note: Um sich über die Gefahren, die mit dem Coronavirus einhergehen, als auch über aktuelle Massnahmen in der Schweiz zu informieren, besuchen Sie die Informationswebsite des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit (BAG). Weitere Informationen auf Englisch erhalten Sie auf der Website der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO). Die NZZ hat alle Artikel zum Coronavirus hier zusammengestellt. Alles zu den Symptomen und Tipps für den Alltag finden Sie hier.
Methodikhinweis: This article is updated continuously. Wir die Zahlen der Kantone, die das Statistische Amt des Kantons Zürich auf Github zur Verfügung stellt, und die Zahlen der Johns-Hopkins-Universität (JHU). Bei internationalen Vergleichen nutzen wir auch für die Schweiz Zahlen der JHU, um die Vergleichbarkeit zu optimieren. Die Forscher der JHU erheben die Zahlen aus verschiedenen Quellen und lassen sie jeweils von offiziellen Stellen bestätigen (im Detail hier erklärt). Alle Zahlen beziehen sich nur auf die bestätigten Corona-Fälle in den jeweiligen Ländern. Es ist davon auszugehen, dass die Zahl der effektiven Corona-Infizierten überall höher liegt. Die Wissenschafter sind darauf angewiesen, dass die Regierungsstellen korrekte Angaben machen, was nicht immer sichergestellt ist. Zudem können national oder regional unterschiedliche Vorgehensweisen und eine variierende Häufigkeit von Tests einen Einfluss auf die Vergleichbarkeit der Fallzahlen haben. Die Zahlen der JHU weisen zum Teil kleine Lücken auf, betroffen sind einzelne Werte von Mitte März, wo für einige Länder die Zahlen des Vortags vermeldet werden. Mehr dazu, wie die NZZ Daten zum Coronavirus verwendet, lesen Sie hier.