Analysis by Keith Rankin
Australian cases have been on an exponent growth path since late February, with no remission yet in sight. The good news is that infection rates remain well below western European levels. The bad news is that death rates – hitherto very low – are accelerating. Indeed Victoria, running with a similar case rate to New Zealand, has just had its first few deaths.
Canada’s case incidence is very similar to that of Australia, though its deaths are twice as high. This suggests that the actual incidence of Covid-19 in Canada may be twice as high as in Australia, albeit on a similar growth path.
New Zealand has been on a steeper growth path than Australia this last week, though it is a day behind in population‑adjusted cases. New Zealand will most likely settle into a similar pace of growth as Australia and Canada over the next week, at similar actual infection rates as Australia.
All three countries are above-average in cases than the world as a whole. Australia and Canada are above average for death rates, Australia only slightly so.
The world’s case growth rate is slow because the developing countries are either ahead of (China) or behind Europe and North America. My sense is that the world’s growth curve will persist well after developing countries’ case incidences fall. I have some confidence that Asia and Africa will end up with much lower rates of infection than Europe. I am much less confident about Latin America.