Omicron Concerns; even while Delta is still stongly impacting the world

The financial market indices signalled concerns about COVID – the Omicron variant from South Africa on Friday. The Dow was down 2.53%; FTSE100 down 3.64%; NASDAQ down 2.23%; S&P500 down 2.27%

Here’s the core problem: The US (and the world) still isn’t done with Delta. Take a look at monthly cases and deaths. So far in November – approximately 30,000 deaths – on 2.2 million new cases. Average daily deaths are 3x higher than 1st August – about 1,500 per day. We are certainly not yet back to normal – even though we are increasingly acting as normal.

WHO reports close to 260 million cases of covid since inception and almost 5.2 million deaths. The global picture shows no significant sustained reduction of cases or fatalities. (Although note a lage drop off in cases and fatalities as vaccine began rollouts from April 2021 to June 2021). Still much work to be done.

South Africa

Hard to tell how accurate the data is; or how effective the testing is, but here’s the the data (source WHO). 62 cases per million per day. But using recent data – the fatality rate is 7% of those infected (prior month lag) – which points to likely a very significant level of cases that are undetected (lack of sufficient testing).

But the week over week comparisons show a more alarming story in Africa – sharply rising cases and fatalities:

And we also see fatalities on the rise, week over week as follows:

In all of the WHO global data – Africa has a very low percentage of cases. In my view that is most likely a sign of insufficient levels of testing. In the data below – Africa is about 1% of all cases. Seems unlikely given that Africa is about 16% of world population.

European countries with sharply rising cases:

All expressed per capita – as cases & fatalities per million of population per day. Notice the higher cases are translating into significantly increased fatalities.

The Netherlands spike is best viewed in comparison to longer time range data:

Here’s the longer term Germany chart. Easy to see why German authorities are getting concerned. The fatality curve from August to Date looks almost exponential.

Russia & Eastern Europe

Russia and Eastern Europe are still leading the league tables for highest per capita level of fatalities. These are very high levels of average daily fatalities per million of population. By contrast the US is @ 4.5 fatalities per million per day; UK is 1.9

Russia is still experiencing very high fatality levels – even though cases have started to reduce:

Ukraine has an even higher fatality rate:

Hungary has an even higher current level of fatalities

Bulgaria has the highest levels of per capital fatalities, but down over the course of November:

South America Success:

Hard to know the reasons for success – but South America in general is having very low rates of COVID. Is it the shift to the summer season? Brazil, Peru and Argentina continue to trend down:

Conclusion:

The VIRUS is again showing its ability to mutate – even while Delta is still impacting the world.

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