COVID-19 fatality rate per country

Date of article: 12 May 2020


Comparing country reports: some disclaimers

Before I'll start with the comparison of fatality rates per country, it's good to acknowledge that using the reported numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths has its limitations. I'd like to highlight three considerations in this matter.

First of all, although most countries are reporting the numbers to the best of their knowledge, we should accept that some countries might be intentionally cooking the books. A very likely example being North Korea, where prominent party officials have been seen in public wearing masks and there are credible reports that local authorities are telling citizens that the coronavirus is spreading, but in the official government communication to the World Health Organization no COVID-19 cases have been reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with officials wearing face masks (28 February 2020, photo by KCNA)


Except for countries intentionally publishing inaccurate numbers on the COVID-19 spread, we should also accept that some countries have way more capabilities to detect the coronavirus than others. For example, a country like Solomon Islands (with 650 000 inhabitants one of the most populated countries with no confirmed cases) don't have their own test lab and are sending samples to Australia to be tested.

A third and final consideration is that the counting methodology is different all around the world. For example some countries only count deaths when they occur in the hospital, while other countries also count deaths which occur in nursing homes and/or count 'likely' deaths without positive PCR-labtest (e.g. Belgium). Another example of different counting methodologies is the way a deceased patients with comorbidity is taken into account; some countries might count it as 'COVID-19 death' while other countries won't.


Deaths per cases

Having shared the above disclaimers, still the numbers which are being reported by countries are very useful, for example to read trends within a country and to get a rough comparison how countries are doing compared with others. For example, most people will agree that a country like Singapore with mass contact tracing in place is probably one of the countries best able to detect all cases.

A Singapore contact tracing map to illustrate the exceptional contact tracing systems in Singapore


Now Singapore is also a country with many COVID-19 cases relative to the amount of reported COVID-19 deaths. As I mentioned some months ago:

  • It's quite easy to detect COVID-19 persons who have died or are on intensive care and submit them to a labtest.
  • It's much harder to detect all mild COVID-19 cases or even asymptomatic cases (=people show no symptoms but still are infected with the coronavirus)


Interpretation of the fatality rate

Because it's much easier to detect all COVID-19 deaths than all COVID-19 cases, countries like Singapore will have a lower 'fatality rate' than others. To me, dividing the number of deaths per cases is not an indicator for how lethal the virus is in a country, as to me the most likely hypothesis is that the virus is just as lethal to a European person as to a Asian person. Rather its a indication of either:

  • inability of a country to detect coronavirus cases (e.g. lack of testing or contact tracing)
  • differences in population age (a population with a lot of people aged 70+ will see a higher ratio of deaths per cases)
  • differences in counting methodology (see above)

With this in mind, below is the current list with COVID-19 fatality rates per country.


List of COVID-19 fatality rate per country (=deaths per cases)

as of 12 May 2020, 0:00 CET - countries with less than 1 million inhabitants excluded

  1. Vietnam 0.00% (288 cases and 0 deaths)
  2. Rwanda 0.00% (284 cases and 0 deaths)
  3. Madagascar 0.00% (193 cases and 0 deaths)
  4. Central African Republic 0.00% (179 cases and 0 deaths)
  5. South Sudan 0.00% (156 cases and 0 deaths)
  6. Cambodia 0.00% (122 cases and 0 deaths)
  7. Nepal 0.00% (121 cases and 0 deaths)
  8. Uganda 0.00% (121 cases and 0 deaths)
  9. Mozambique 0.00% (91 cases and 0 deaths)
  10. Mongolia 0.00% (42 cases and 0 deaths)
  11. Eritrea 0.00% (39 cases and 0 deaths)
  12. East Timor 0.00% (24 cases and 0 deaths)
  13. Laos 0.00% (19 cases and 0 deaths)
  14. Namibia 0.00% (16 cases and 0 deaths)
  15. Papua New Guinea 0.00% (8 cases and 0 deaths)
  16. Qatar 0.06% (23623 cases and 14 deaths)
  17. Singapore 0.09% (23336 cases and 20 deaths)
  18. Bahrain 0.16% (5157 cases and 8 deaths)
  19. Uzbekistan 0.41% (2411 cases and 10 deaths)
  20. Guinea-Bissau 0.47% (642 cases and 3 deaths)
  21. Ghana 0.47% (4700 cases and 22 deaths)
  22. Oman 0.48% (3574 cases and 17 deaths)
  23. Guinea 0.51% (2146 cases and 11 deaths)
  24. Belarus 0.56% (23906 cases and 135 deaths)
  25. Kazakhstan 0.60% (5138 cases and 31 deaths)
  26. Saudi Arabia 0.62% (41014 cases and 255 deaths)
  27. Benin 0.63% (319 cases and 2 deaths)
  28. Kuwait 0.70% (9286 cases and 65 deaths)
  29. Palestinian Territory 0.73% (547 cases and 4 deaths)
  30. Costa Rica 0.77% (780 cases and 6 deaths)
  31. Russia 0.91% (221344 cases and 2009 deaths)
  32. Equatorial Guinea 0.91% (439 cases and 4 deaths)
  33. Sri Lanka 1.04% (863 cases and 9 deaths)
  34. United Arab Emirates 1.06% (18878 cases and 201 deaths)
  35. Chile 1.07% (30063 cases and 323 deaths)
  36. Senegal 1.11% (1709 cases and 19 deaths)
  37. Eswatini 1.16% (172 cases and 2 deaths)
  38. Kyrgyzstan 1.18% (1016 cases and 12 deaths)
  39. Gabon 1.21% (661 cases and 8 deaths)
  40. Ivory Coast 1.24% (1700 cases and 21 deaths)
  41. Azerbaijan 1.24% (2589 cases and 32 deaths)
  42. Armenia 1.36% (3392 cases and 46 deaths)
  43. Australia 1.40% (6941 cases and 97 deaths)
  44. Paraguay 1.40% (713 cases and 10 deaths)
  45. Bangladesh 1.52% (15691 cases and 239 deaths)
  46. Israel 1.54% (16492 cases and 254 deaths)
  47. Georgia 1.57% (638 cases and 10 deaths)
  48. Jordan 1.60% (562 cases and 9 deaths)
  49. Malaysia 1.62% (6656 cases and 108 deaths)
  50. Slovakia 1.78% (1457 cases and 26 deaths)
  51. Jamaica 1.81% (498 cases and 9 deaths)
  52. New Zealand 1.83% (1147 cases and 21 deaths)
  53. Thailand 1.86% (3015 cases and 56 deaths)
  54. El Salvador 1.91% (889 cases and 17 deaths)
  55. Latvia 1.92% (939 cases and 18 deaths)
  56. South Africa 1.94% (10015 cases and 194 deaths)
  57. Ethiopia 2.09% (239 cases and 5 deaths)
  58. Serbia 2.14% (10176 cases and 218 deaths)
  59. Pakistan 2.16% (30941 cases and 667 deaths)
  60. South Korea 2.35% (10909 cases and 256 deaths)
  61. Uruguay 2.42% (702 cases and 17 deaths)
  62. Cyprus 2.45% (898 cases and 22 deaths)
  63. Guatemala 2.48% (967 cases and 24 deaths)
  64. Venezuela 2.49% (402 cases and 10 deaths)
  65. Afghanistan 2.59% (4664 cases and 121 deaths)
  66. Ukraine 2.61% (15648 cases and 408 deaths)
  67. Zambia 2.62% (267 cases and 7 deaths)
  68. Turkey 2.75% (139771 cases and 3841 deaths)
  69. Norway 2.76% (8106 cases and 224 deaths)
  70. Peru 2.85% (68822 cases and 1961 deaths)
  71. Panama 2.86% (8282 cases and 237 deaths)
  72. Mauritius 3.01% (332 cases and 10 deaths)
  73. Morocco 3.02% (6226 cases and 188 deaths)
  74. Lebanon 3.03% (859 cases and 26 deaths)
  75. Nigeria 3.25% (4399 cases and 143 deaths)
  76. Tajikistan 3.27% (612 cases and 20 deaths)
  77. India 3.29% (67152 cases and 2206 deaths)
  78. Myanmar 3.33% (180 cases and 6 deaths)
  79. Lithuania 3.37% (1485 cases and 50 deaths)
  80. Czech Republic 3.44% (8157 cases and 281 deaths)
  81. Republic of the Congo 3.48% (287 cases and 10 deaths)
  82. Moldova 3.50% (4995 cases and 175 deaths)
  83. Estonia 3.50% (1741 cases and 61 deaths)
  84. Albania 3.57% (868 cases and 31 deaths)
  85. Dominican Republic 3.75% (10347 cases and 388 deaths)
  86. Iraq 3.90% (2818 cases and 110 deaths)
  87. Austria 3.92% (15828 cases and 620 deaths)
  88. Japan 3.93% (15798 cases and 621 deaths)
  89. Democratic Republic of the Congo 4.00% (1024 cases and 41 deaths)
  90. Tanzania 4.13% (509 cases and 21 deaths)
  91. Portugal 4.13% (27689 cases and 1144 deaths)
  92. Croatia 4.14% (2196 cases and 91 deaths)
  93. Colombia 4.19% (11063 cases and 463 deaths)
  94. Botswana 4.35% (23 cases and 1 deaths)
  95. Cuba 4.36% (1766 cases and 77 deaths)
  96. Tunisia 4.36% (1032 cases and 45 deaths)
  97. Germany 4.37% (169575 cases and 7417 deaths)
  98. Cameroon 4.42% (2579 cases and 114 deaths)
  99. Angola 4.44% (45 cases and 2 deaths)
  100. Finland 4.53% (5984 cases and 271 deaths)
  101. Bulgaria 4.59% (1981 cases and 91 deaths)
  102. Bolivia 4.68% (2437 cases and 114 deaths)
  103. Libya 4.69% (64 cases and 3 deaths)
  104. Kenya 4.76% (672 cases and 32 deaths)
  105. Somalia 4.78% (1089 cases and 52 deaths)
  106. Poland 4.97% (16326 cases and 811 deaths)
  107. Gambia 5.00% (20 cases and 1 deaths)
  108. Puerto Rico 5.05% (2198 cases and 111 deaths)
  109. Argentina 5.05% (6034 cases and 305 deaths)
  110. Denmark 5.07% (10513 cases and 533 deaths)
  111. Switzerland 5.09% (30344 cases and 1543 deaths)
  112. Sudan 5.13% (1365 cases and 70 deaths)
  113. Burundi 5.26% (19 cases and 1 deaths)
  114. Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.30% (2131 cases and 113 deaths)
  115. Malawi 5.36% (56 cases and 3 deaths)
  116. Mali 5.40% (704 cases and 38 deaths)
  117. Macedonia 5.47% (1664 cases and 91 deaths)
  118. Egypt 5.47% (9746 cases and 533 deaths)
  119. China 5.50% (84450 cases and 4643 deaths)
  120. Greece 5.54% (2726 cases and 151 deaths)
  121. Niger 5.60% (821 cases and 46 deaths)
  122. Sierra Leone 5.86% (307 cases and 18 deaths)
  123. Honduras 5.90% (1830 cases and 108 deaths)
  124. United States 6.05% (1271645 cases and 76916 deaths)
  125. Iran 6.12% (109286 cases and 6685 deaths)
  126. Romania 6.24% (15588 cases and 972 deaths)
  127. Ireland 6.34% (23135 cases and 1467 deaths)
  128. Togo 6.36% (173 cases and 11 deaths)
  129. Syria 6.38% (47 cases and 3 deaths)
  130. Burkina Faso 6.52% (751 cases and 49 deaths)
  131. Philippines 6.66% (10794 cases and 719 deaths)
  132. Brazil 6.84% (162699 cases and 11123 deaths)
  133. Trinidad and Tobago 6.90% (116 cases and 8 deaths)
  134. Indonesia 6.95% (14265 cases and 991 deaths)
  135. Canada 6.95% (67996 cases and 4728 deaths)
  136. Slovenia 6.99% (1460 cases and 102 deaths)
  137. Ecuador 7.02% (30298 cases and 2127 deaths)
  138. Haiti 7.95% (151 cases and 12 deaths)
  139. Algeria 8.77% (5723 cases and 502 deaths)
  140. Chad 9.63% (322 cases and 31 deaths)
  141. Liberia 9.80% (204 cases and 20 deaths)
  142. Mexico 10.02% (33460 cases and 3353 deaths)
  143. Zimbabwe 11.11% (36 cases and 4 deaths)
  144. Spain 11.76% (227436 cases and 26744 deaths)
  145. Sweden 12.21% (26670 cases and 3256 deaths)
  146. Mauritania 12.50% (8 cases and 1 deaths)
  147. Netherlands 12.75% (42788 cases and 5456 deaths)
  148. Hungary 12.82% (3284 cases and 421 deaths)
  149. Italy 13.98% (219814 cases and 30739 deaths)
  150. United Kingdom 14.38% (223060 cases and 32065 deaths)
  151. Belgium 16.29% (53449 cases and 8707 deaths)
  152. Yemen 16.98% (53 cases and 9 deaths)
  153. France 19.30% (137897 cases and 26611 deaths)
  154. Nicaragua 31.25% (16 cases and 5 deaths)


(All data gathered by Newsnodes.com from official government reports and/or WHO.int)

article by Newsnodes








 

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