November represented the eleventh consecutive month with an increase in COVID-19 cases in the world. Also, it was the eleventh consecutive month with an improvement in the % of deaths:
Both trends are closely related to the increase in tests performed, which has increased in the same proportion:
So, it is not that the virus has mutated to a less lethal strain/variation, but at the beginning of the year, the few tests available were only administered to people in critical condition, whereas now it is possible, in most countries, to have the test with mild symptoms or even no symptoms, which are obviously less likely to end up dying than those with severe symptoms.
Other causes that have helped to improve the % of deaths is that hospitals and doctors have learned to prepare to treat the flow of patients and the importance of especially protecting the elderly.
Based on this improvement in % of deaths, at Roller, we recently adjusted our formula to assess the severity of the situation in each country and region, and instead of using the % of total deaths, we are now using the % of deaths observed in the last 60 days. Our purpose is to make an accurate assessment of risk, understanding that there are serious consequences when underestimating it, but also overestimating it.
In Barranquilla (Atlantic region in Colombia), for example, the situation went from severe to frail with the update of the formula, since the % of deaths improved from 2.9% in March-April to 1.4% in October-November. This is how our evaluation of the 259 regions changed according to the initial and current systems, with the most recent data:
|Severity||Number of regions according to the old system
(% total deaths)
Number of regions according to the new system
(% deaths in the last 60 days)
This difference between the % of total deaths and the % of deaths in the last 60 days is also key to measure the willingness and ability of a government to learn and improve how to handle the virus. If the last 60 days is not significantly less than the total (5 times lower is the world average), it is probably a reflection of that ineptitude. In this graph we see that difference:
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