Analyzing COVID-19 pandemic for unequal distribution of tests, identified cases, deaths, and fatality rates in the top 18 countries
Shams, Shahbaz A.
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Background and aims: COVID-19 pandemic has affected various countries differently due to variance in demographics, income level, health infrastructure, government response, control and enforcement, and cultural traits of different populations. This study aims to identify significant factors behind the unequal distribution of identified cases and deaths in different countries. Our study’s objective is comparative analysis and identification of relations between the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, population characteristics, and government response. Methods: The top 18 countries worst hit by COVID-19 cases were identified. The data metrics, such as the number of cases, deaths, fatality rates, tests, average life expectancy, and population, were collected and consolidated. Results: Countries with significant percentage of the older population are vulnerable to a high number of deaths due to COVID-19. Developed countries have higher per capita testing, whereas testing is less intensive in developing/underdeveloped countries. There is a consensus among health experts that COVID-19 has higher fatality rates for people above 60, however, with further age, this increases exponentially. Countries with higher life expectancy are also high-income countries, and the best course of action would be to provide specialized support to self-isolate for people of ages 75 and above. Conclusion: The behaviour of disease occurring at a large scale and interaction with different populations is studied to understand and differentiate the factors and measures that successfully inhibited the pandemic. The study benchmarks different countries based on their performance and efforts against the pandemic and provides some useful insights on the efficiency of their governance and potential to improve & ramp up their programs. The economic status and existing healthcare infrastructure as they are the key factors in determining the country’s ability to contain and minimize the losses from this pandemic.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2020.06.051
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