European countries starting to relax covid rules

Feb 20, 2022 | Chart | Europe | Covid-19

Last Friday I learned that the day before the federal council of Switzerland had reached an agreement to relax the covid measures, so that the use of masks is limited to public transport and health institutions only. This morning I was reading that also in other European countries, these measures are being adopted also in other countries like the UK, Norway, France, Germany and Austria.

It is true that vaccination rates have reached important levels in most of these countries, that covid cases have decreased significantly and that fortunately omicron-related cases have been milder than previous variants; but in any case it feels a bit surreal to enter stores and restaurants without having to wear that mask that has been part of the essential accessories during these long months of pandemic.

Fingers crossed that the situation continues to evolve so positively!.

Omicron is spreading like crazy

Jan 12, 2022 | Chart | World | Covid-19

Almost two years ago I created a dashboard to track the Covid-19 cases based on data provided by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. When I deployed that little application, I thought it would only be useful for a couple of months.

Almost two years later, it is still useful for tracking cases in different countries and following trends at the national or global level. In the different podcasts I follow, they have mentioned in the last couple of weeks that the omicron variant is different, in the sense that it is way much more contagious, but does not affect the lungs in the same way as the previous variants did.

Last night I was checking my dashboard and indeed the number of cases has skyrocketed, more than with any other variant. Fortunately the number of deaths associated with the virus has remained stable as you can see above. It is still true that this huge number of cases will necessarily add additional stress on health care systems around the world.

Although we are all sick to death of this pandemic, we must continue to get vaccinated and take protective measures to avoid the virus as much as possible.

Covid-19 vaccination uptake in Europe

Nov 14, 2021 | Map | Europe | Covid-19

Yesterday I met a couple of colleagues from the university here in Basel and we discussed various topics. One of my colleagues is an epidemiologist and the topic of increasing hospitalization rates due to covid-19 was part of our conversations. One of the causes of this phenomenon is that vaccination rates in Europe are still low. According to the ECDC the cumulative complete vaccination rate in Europe is 64.9%, with Portugal being the country with the highest rate (81.3%).

Countries like Germany and the Netherlands, which are breaking daily records with the number of cases, have relatively low vaccination rates (67.1% and 64.8% respectively). We cannot let our guard down and more work must be done to prevent the continent from becoming again, the epicentre of this never-ending pandemic.

Covid-19 Vaccination in the world

Apr 26, 2021 | Map | World | Covid-19

After a long wait, finally I was able to get an appointment today for the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. I still need to wait another month, but having a spot in the queue is such a relief!. I was curious about what countries have the highest vaccination rate (using data from our world) and I realized that gibraltar has almost all the adult population innoculated.

I know the situation is bad in India nowadays, so I really hope at certain most of the countries will be able to have the same numbers as gibraltar, or the USA for that matter. The new administration definitely did wonders there!.

COVID-19 Situation in Switzerland in November

Nov 17, 2020 | Chart | Switzerland | Covid-19

The number of cases of covid-19 in Switzerland increased dramatically in November, reaching more than 10,000 at the beginning of the month which forced the cantonal and federal authorities to take strict measures to prevent contagion.

One of the main differences with respect to the wave that occurred during the spring time, is that the number of hospitalizations has increased significantly as can be seen in the graph above. We hope that those measures taken by the authorities will help to control this new peak. Of course everybody has to their part: #wearamask.

COVID-19: Cases increasing across Europe

Sep 20, 2020 | Chart | Europe | Covid-19

According to the EDCD website, in many countries across the EU/EEA and the UK, an increase of COVID-19 cases is being observed following the lifting of lockdowns and the relaxation of preventive measures such as physical distancing.

This new "wave" has been reported regarding countries such as Spain and France where the timeseries graph of confirmed cases shows a clear sigmoid curve. I personally understand the "COVID-19 Fatigue", but the virus is still there, and it's not possible to forget about it.

COVID-19 in Switzerland

Aug 26, 2020 | Map | Chart | Switzerland | Covid-19

Both in Basel city and Zurich it is required to wear facemask with the objective to reduce the COVID-19 transmission. The country flattened the curve but as soon as it began to reopen, the cases started to up again. The cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Zurich are the most affected as it can be observed in the previous graph.

GDP and COVID-19 in Europe

Aug 03, 2020 | Chart | Economy | Europe | Covid-19

A couple of days Eurostat released a preliminary report of the GDP growth rate in the EU and Euro zones. It's not not surprising but the COVID-19 situation and the required mitigation measures have taken a toll in the economy in Europe. The report discussed how "Seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 12.1% in the euro area and by 11.9% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter," The graph above shows this dramatic trend.

COVID -19: Brazil uncontrolled spread

Jun 01, 2020 | Map | Brazil | Covid-19

Brazil has unfornately become of the new epicenters of the COViD-19 pandemia in the world. A recent editorial at The Lancet, describes how Brazil is the country with the highest rate of transmission (R0 of 2·81), based on the data compiled by an study conducted at the Imperial College of London.

The title of the editorial ("So what?"), summarises the biggest problem the country has dealing with this disease and that is the response (or lack thereof) of its president Jair Bolsonaro. His disdain for a vast proportion of the population suffering by this disease is outrageous, but not surprising.

Boa sorte brasil, você vai precisar!

COVID-19: 4m Cases Worldwide

May 10. 2020 | World | Map | Health | Covid-19

Last easter holidays I setup this COVID-19 dashboard in one of my personal domains to follow the cases around the world, particularly in Europe. I used the data provided by the Johns Hopkins university, in particular their daily cases, death and recoveries time series. Using those data points and doing some data wrangling it’s possible to get a lot of insights about what’s currently happening in the world.

The last time I blogged about this topic was exactly one month ago and there have been a lot developments since then:

  • In April I mentioned the US has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemia and that’s still the case, but on a different scale. With over 1.3 million active cases, the United States accounts for 32.5% of all cases worldwide today. The situation in New York City is much better than it was then, but there are now multiple cases in rural areas, particularly in towns with meat processing plants
  • The situation in the United Kingdom is dire as well. As of yesterday they have reported 31.3k deaths and 216.5k active cases.and they have less than 1k patients recovered from the disease. Famously Boris Johnson got infected himself, required hospitalization and even ICU admission for a couple of days.
  • In contrast Germany has been recognized as of the countries who has dealt with the Pandemic in a responsilbe way using a scientific based approach. There are still in the list of the Top 10 countries most affected by the disease but the death rate has been really low, during the evolution of the pandemia.
  • The Kiwi strategy has been one of the most succesful ones in the world. A headline in the prestigious Lancet magazine summarises all: New Zealand eliminates COVID-19. The administratrion of Jacinda Ardern couldn't be more proud of their decisions!.

Peaceful sunrise

Apr 13, 2020 | Picture | Europe | Covid-19

I have been walking up quite early these days. A couple of days ago I was lucky to get this beautiful and peaceful sunrise.

83k COVID19 Cases in the US

Mar 27, 2020 | World | Map | Health | Covid-19

The COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the world and the United States of America clearly has become the new epicenter with 85,991 confirmed cases, 18,050 more compared with the previous day. They really need to setup a working national policy!

COVID-19 307k Cases World Wide

Mar 22, 2020 | World | Map | Health | Covid-19

According to the latest data aggregated by the John Hopkins university world cases dashboard, there are 307277 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world. Europe is still an epicenter of the disease with more than 50k cases in Italy, but also more than 10k cases in France, Germany and Spain.

There are more death cases reported in Italy (4825) than they were repored during in China (3265). The US has the highest number of active cases (26747) after Italy.

In many places of the world there are measures in place to encourage or force people to stay home. Please stay safe!

COVID-19 Cases in Europe

Mar 14, 2020 | Europe | Map | Health | Covid-19

According to the WHO, Europe has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as the deadly coronavirus runs through Italy and nearby countries including Germany, Switzerland and France. It's the same situation in Spain where the total number of cases increased dramatically during the last 2 days, leading the goverment to set in place drastic measures for force slowing down the transmission of the virus.

COVID-19 Worldwide Cases

Mar 03, 2020 | Map | World | Health | Covid-19

One month ago I was blogging about how the 2019-nCoV coronavirus had been in the news headlines lately because of the human-to-human transmission and its rapid spread both in China and outside its borders.

At the end of January there were 9776 confirmed cases in China, but one month later this number is around 80k and Iran, South Korea and Italy have become additional geographical points with more than 1k cases.

The COVID-19 Virus as it’s called now, it’s a public issue all around the world and prevenive measures will have to be in place to slowdown the spread of this disease.

The following animation from wikipedia shows how the virus have been spreading fast in a couple of months.

Again for reference this is the John Hopkins university world cases dashboard, using the most recent data available.

Corona Virus (2019-nCoV) Cases

Jan 31, 2020 | Map | World | Health | Covid-19

The 2019-nCoV coronavirus have been in the news headlines lately because of the human-to-human transmission and its rapid spread both in China and outside its borders. This virus apparently originated in animals and it was first identified in seafood and animals markets in Wuhan, China

As of yesterday there are 9776 cases confirmed affecting 20 countries already, with the vast majority in China. The John Hopkins university is maintining this world cases dashboard, using the most recent data available.