Evaluate the COVID-19 evolution more accurately through interactive data visualization

26 Mar 2020

At a time where everybody is watching the evolution of the COVID-19. We decided to make ... yes, indeed, one more dashboard on the topic. We felt like the data had to be visualized also from a different point of view than is commonly seen, as looking at the number of infected per country doesn't tell the whole story.

This is why we have published the data with additional visualisation features: The number of infected per capita, which will relate the propagation of the virus to the size of the country; As well as a relative time visualisation. The virus did not appear in every country at the same time, and between importation and exponential propagation, could take different periods from one country to another, which is why we corrected this and shifted on the time line every country for the start of their exponential growth to coincide to the same date (we picked the starting date of the propagation in china). This dashboard therefore allows to compare countries amongst eachother in 4 ways: 

  • Real date and absolute numbers
  • Real date and numbers per 1.000.000 inhabitants
  • Relative date and absolute numbers
  • Relative date and numbers per 1.000.000 inhabitants
In both cases, the cumulative, as well as the daily new cases are shown.
 

You can play with our interactive dashboard here :

 
 
Click on ctrl+click to select one (or more than one) countries from the list on the left.
Use the selectors to choose how to visualize the data:
• Total Cases will give the total number of confirmed cases
• Daily Cases will give the number of daily confirmed cases
• Infected numbers will give the total number of confirmed cases per country
• Infected per capita will give the number of confirmed cases per 1.000.000 inhabitants
• Date will show the actual date the numbers were reported
• Relative evolution will show how the countries evolved regarding each other throughout the exponential spread of the disease, with a starting date shifted to coincide with the date the disease started spreading exponentially in China.

Our main conclusions

Amongst the insights we can gain from this, let's mention this one:

Everybody has been watching China in February, and everybody has been watching Italia in March. But as Italia is now reaching its peak of daily cases, the trends show that April will see the USA as the major center of attention for this virus, with the exponential growth there surpassing any other country.

We have to note however, that we can only analyze what is being measured, and what is being measured is a biased sample: most countries only test the hospital admissions (at the exception of South Korea and Iceland at the time), Let's keep in mind that incomplete biased data may lead to wrong insights, and thus wrong conclusions, which is why this study is purely for illustration purposes.

The current estimates, that can be inferred thanks to the Cruise ship, South Korea and Iceland, give an estimate of a factor of 5 to 10 between the measured cases, and the real number of infected people. Since most people don't develop any symptom, and systematic a posteriori mass-testing is unlikely. We are potentially facing 4.500.000 infected today rather than 450.000 ... but this, we'll likely never know.

The numbers published and shown here can thus be used to compare trends between countries, but should not be taken as a ground truth for conclusions or estimates of real number of cases.