While most of China’s neighbours have been able to contain the spread of COVID-19, countries far from it are seeing an exponential surge in cases. Early testing and wider coverage distinguish such Asian countries from Western countries. However, India is dangerously placed as it has among the lowest testing rates.
The disease spread varied among continents
The graph shows the number of COVID-19 cases since the 100th case in each country. Many Asian nations (indicated by blue lines) have contained the spread to a large extent, whereas Europe (yellow lines), the Americas (red lines) and West Asia (green lines) are seeing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases
More tests meant better results
The graph plots the number of virus tests per million population as of March 9 against the number of COVID-19 cases as of March 13 for nations that have provided this data.
Tests done vs cases recorded
Higher test rates meant better results
The graph shows virus tests per million population as of February 4 (indicated by purple circle) and March 9 (pink circle). As of February 4, the testing rates of all nations were similar, but since then, some nations have scaled up the rate of testing by a huge margin and contained the spread of COVID-19.
Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan scaled up their test rates and contained the spread, whereas the U.S. and U.K. have not done so and have seen an exponential rise in cases. India too has not scaled up the rate of testing.
Quick response helped contain spread
The graph shows the date on which testing/screening started. While Taiwan and S. Korea initiated this process early, the rest took their time to get going.
In India, though the testing rates are abysmal, as of Sunday no spike in disease spread has been reported. But the exponential rise of cases in Western nations, which have similarly low rates of testing, should set the alarm bells ringing.