Analysis by Keith Rankin
Hungary has now taken over from its neighbour, the Czech Republic, as the world’s most covid-fatal country in the most recent week. The top seven countries are in Eastern Europe, as is the ninth country (Poland); plenty of others from the region also feature. Only Brazil, scoring much higher than in any week in 2020, seriously threatens the dominance of this bloc.
Close behind we have the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine – Israel was worse than these in January) and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). Greece makes its first showing in these charts.
We hear so little in the New Zealand media about Eastern Europe’s tragedy, in part because we are a bit racist – including racism towards ‘alien’ white people – and also because the historical ‘Balkanisation’ of Eastern Europe means that most of these countries there are relatively small. Yet Eastern Europe, and Eastern European immigrants, have been significant throughout New Zealand’s European history.
The second chart orders the current covid league table by new cases rather than recent deaths. While Eastern Europe still dominates, some countries which in 2020 had low incidences of Covid19 are Estonia, Uruguay, Malta, Palestine, and Cyprus.
Many of the usual West European suspects are still present: Sweden, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg. And note Chile, which has by far the highest Covid19 vaccination rates in Latin America.
For the first time, neither chart includes the United States or the United Kingdom.
It is important that we note that the usual ‘rich little country’ suspects (plus some new rich little territories) are present at and near the top of these high incidence statistics, only omitted here because their populations are below 300,000: San Marino, Andorra, St. Barthélemy, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba, Seychelles, Mayotte, Reunion, and Wallis and Fortuna (in our Pacific neck of the woods). In addition, Gibraltar (#1) and Liechtenstein (#20) are in the top 20 countries for overall (ie not just in the last week) Covid19 fatalities per capita.
Another country in our neighbourhood to watch is Papua New Guinea. Its actual outbreak is presently far larger than the statistics of confirmed cases are able to show.