COVID-19: The Europe-wide Picture

COVID-19: The Europe-wide Picture

By Neil Lock

Today, I’m going look at the status of COVID-19 in Europe as a whole. The data I use was taken on January 31st, and runs up to January 30th. There will be no spaghetti graphs in this particular missive. Instead, I will be concentrating on two aspects; the overall performance of each country over the course of the epidemic so far, and the current status in each country.

Since I last looked at COVID in Europe as a whole, statistics for four dependent territories which were initially reporting, but whose figures were removed from the Our World in Data feed in late November 2020, have been restored to that feed. They are: the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. These places are interesting, because they represent some of the most extreme COVID conditions in all of Europe.

Performance over the whole epidemic

I’ll start at the opposite end from usual, with cumulative deaths per million – one of the COVID metrics on which, I expect, the politicians will eventually be judged. There is a very strong representation of Nordic countries at the bottom of the list. Of the seven such countries and dependencies (Sweden, Denmark, Faeroe Islands, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland) only Sweden is not in the bottom 10 out of 50 countries reporting. The top of the list, on the other hand, shows a high concentration of countries from eastern Europe, and particularly from the south-eastern part of Europe.

Let’s look at another metric which should be closely related to deaths per million, the average excess mortality over the whole course of the epidemic:

There is quite a decent correlation between the two lists; but a few of the numbers seem a bit strange. The low value for excess mortality in Gibraltar seems to be because the Gibraltarians stopped reporting this metric in January 2021, thus missing the second half of the epidemic. Andorra, similarly, stopped reporting excess mortality at the end of 2020. And Belarus stopped reporting at the end of March 2021, and Moldova at the end of September; their excess mortality has probably got worse since.

Kosovo, on the other hand, has reported excess mortality all the way through. So, their very high excess mortality and relatively low deaths per million may be down to a lesser propensity to classify deaths as being due to COVID than some of the other countries. But Hungary goes the other way; and there is a very good match between the shapes of their deaths per million and excess mortality curves, suggesting that their reporting is honest.

Let’s look at cumulative deaths per case:

That’s interesting. The Nordic countries, except for Sweden, all come out in the bottom ten in this list too. The Isle of Man is down there as well, having done far better on this metric than the UK as a whole; perhaps because they were allowed to close their island borders?

But the leaders are often the same countries that lead in the deaths per million. This might be down either to generally poor health care systems, or to failure (perhaps due to a shortage of test kits) to identify a significant proportion of the actual cases. Russia is up there, too.

Let’s look at the cases per million over the whole epidemic:

Small countries seem to gravitate towards the top here; not really surprising, as the virus is likely to spread quicker in a close-knit community. More than 45% of the population of Andorra have been diagnosed as COVID cases! But the small countries high in cases per million include both places which have done well against the virus like the Faeroe Islands, and those which have a high death rate like Gibraltar and San Marino.

Two of the lowest cases per million, on the other hand, are found in more remote and less densely populated countries: Russia and Belarus.

Which countries have been doing the most testing? Here’s the list:

The Faeroe Islands and Denmark are right up there. The top four have all averaged 10 or more tests per head of population. Cyprus, though it is about as far away from being Nordic as you can get and still be in Europe, is in the bottom 10 in both deaths per million and cumulative deaths per case. Suggesting that ready availability of test kits is a big factor in minimizing deaths due to the virus. Austria is the one in which the large amount of testing does not seem to have had a correspondingly large effect on the death rates. Perhaps because of its central location in Europe?

At the other end of the table, countries with high deaths per million tend to have low tests per population; and Montenegro, in particular, is not reporting testing data at all.

Here is the list of cumulative cases per test – a high value, I would expect, signifies persistent shortages of test kits:

There doesn’t seem to be as much correlation between high cases per test and high deaths per case as I would have guessed – Slovenia and Serbia being relatively moderate in the latter. There is however, as you might expect, some correlation between high cumulative cases per test and low tests per population.

Here’s the list of percentages fully vaccinated:

That Gibraltar figure has to be an error – I think they must be including booster shots in the count of full vaccinations, whereas they should be counting fully vaccinated people.

But it’s clear that the concentration of eastern and south-eastern European countries near the bottom of this list matches similar concentrations near the top of the lists of deaths per million and deaths per case. From Hungary downwards, almost all the countries with the lowest vaccination rates are in eastern Europe. A break-point seems to come at about 60% of the population fully vaccinated. This suggests that the vaccines do help to lower deaths per case; but it says nothing about how well, if at all, they limit the transmission of the virus.

Lastly, average lockdown stringencies:

The Nordic countries (except for Sweden, and with the addition of Estonia, which is culturally quite similar to the Nordics) are conspicuous by their relatively low average lockdown levels. And the three heaviest locked down countries on average (Italy, Greece, Germany) also have high deaths per case, compared with other countries in their geographical neighbourhood. This is not good news for those that have pushed for heavy and continued lockdowns as a means of controlling the epidemic! Whatever it is that the Nordics have going for them – culture? cold? strong constitutions? islands with easily closed borders? being close-knit communities? having few big cities? – they seem to have got things right.

One non-Nordic country worthy of an honourable mention is Luxembourg. It has managed to pull itself well down the lists of deaths per million and deaths per case, and is sixth from bottom in average excess mortality. While, at the same time, being ninth from bottom in average lockdown stringency.

Cyprus has achieved low death rates with high lockdowns, but they seem to be an exception. I suspect it is the testing, rather than the lockdowns, which gave them this advantage.

Since face covering mandates are not included in the Blavatnik stringency calculation, I’ll show also the list of average stringencies for this particular type of lockdown:

Again, the Nordic countries are at or near the bottom in the league of face mask mandates. At the other end of the table, the Maltese have done generally well in keeping deaths down, though their cases per million are quite low. So, they may still have a way to go to reach herd immunity. But some countries that have done badly against the virus, like Italy and Slovakia, have had high levels of face mask mandates. I don’t detect any correlation.

Here is the league table of time spent under full lockdowns:

Hmmm… Religion, particularly the Catholic one, seems to encourage totalitarianism in lockdowns. The UK is an exception, being one of the least religious countries in Europe. But it has been seized by the religion of “safety at any cost,” and the technocracy that goes with it. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table are those countries, whose governments show more respect for the people they are supposed to serve. Oh, and Russia too; but that may simply be due to its huge size.

Individual countries’ performances

Here are the details of each country’s performance, in text form:

Albania Counts
Cases per Million: 89017 (rank 46/50)
Deaths per Million: 1160 (rank 39/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.3% (rank 13/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 31.1% (rank 5/48)
Tests per 100000: 54169 (rank 40/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 16.2% (rank 7/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 38.7% (rank 45/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 56% (rank 15/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 20.8% (rank 11/45)
Andorra Counts
Cases per Million: 459653 (rank 1/50)
Deaths per Million: 1874 (rank 28/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.41% (rank 42/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 31.5% (rank 3/48)
Tests per 100000: 381633 (rank 10/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 11.2% (rank 16/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 68.6% (rank 24/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.8% (rank 32/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 15.5% (rank 25/45)
Austria Counts
Cases per Million: 202162 (rank 29/50)
Deaths per Million: 1558 (rank 31/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.77% (rank 31/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 10.4% (rank 29/48)
Tests per 100000: 1556275 (rank 2/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 1.3% (rank 41/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 74.4% (rank 13/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 60.9% (rank 6/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 14.3% (rank 30/45)
Belarus Counts
Cases per Million: 78471 (rank 49/50)
Deaths per Million: 640 (rank 44/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.81% (rank 28/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 22.7% (rank 14/48)
Tests per 100000: 122544 (rank 29/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.3% (rank 27/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 43.3% (rank 42/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 31.8% (rank 45/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 12% (rank 34/45)
Belgium Counts
Cases per Million: 262710 (rank 12/50)
Deaths per Million: 2489 (rank 17/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.95% (rank 22/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 10.4% (rank 28/48)
Tests per 100000: 256765 (rank 17/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 9.8% (rank 20/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 76.1% (rank 10/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 54.5% (rank 18/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 21.3% (rank 10/45)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Counts
Cases per Million: 105405 (rank 44/50)
Deaths per Million: 4385 (rank 2/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 4.16% (rank 1/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 27.5% (rank 7/48)
Tests per 100000: 45942 (rank 41/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 19.7% (rank 5/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 25.8% (rank 48/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 46.9% (rank 38/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 11.2% (rank 35/45)
Bulgaria Counts
Cases per Million: 136561 (rank 36/50)
Deaths per Million: 4808 (rank 1/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.52% (rank 2/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 29.8% (rank 6/48)
Tests per 100000: 121212 (rank 30/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 11% (rank 17/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 28.8% (rank 47/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 48% (rank 36/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 10.6% (rank 38/45)
Croatia Counts
Cases per Million: 229251 (rank 24/50)
Deaths per Million: 3375 (rank 7/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.47% (rank 11/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 16.8% (rank 18/48)
Tests per 100000: 102777 (rank 34/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 21.9% (rank 3/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 53.9% (rank 36/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 45.9% (rank 39/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 9.6% (rank 39/45)
Cyprus Counts
Cases per Million: 282755 (rank 10/50)
Deaths per Million: 816 (rank 42/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.29% (rank 44/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 6.6% (rank 35/48)
Tests per 100000: 2480136 (rank 1/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 1.1% (rank 42/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 69.9% (rank 20/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 60% (rank 9/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 15.1% (rank 26/45)
Czechia Counts
Cases per Million: 278747 (rank 11/50)
Deaths per Million: 3467 (rank 6/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.24% (rank 15/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 19.1% (rank 17/48)
Tests per 100000: 454832 (rank 9/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 5.9% (rank 30/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 63.1% (rank 31/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.6% (rank 24/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 14.9% (rank 27/45)
Denmark Counts
Cases per Million: 294752 (rank 7/50)
Deaths per Million: 643 (rank 43/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.22% (rank 45/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 1.4% (rank 45/48)
Tests per 100000: 1008782 (rank 4/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 2.6% (rank 39/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 81.2% (rank 6/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 49% (rank 31/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 13.7% (rank 31/45)
Estonia Counts
Cases per Million: 250968 (rank 16/50)
Deaths per Million: 1536 (rank 32/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.61% (rank 36/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 11.2% (rank 27/48)
Tests per 100000: 211426 (rank 21/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 11.2% (rank 15/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 62.5% (rank 32/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 39.5% (rank 43/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 10.7% (rank 36/45)
Faeroe Islands Counts
Cases per Million: 389354 (rank 2/50)
Deaths per Million: 367 (rank 45/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.09% (rank 47/50)
Average Excess Mortality: -7.2% (rank 48/48)
Tests per 100000: 1503374 (rank 3/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 2.4% (rank 40/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 83.2% (rank 4/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 37.6% (rank 44/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 6.2% (rank 44/45)
Finland Counts
Cases per Million: 85689 (rank 47/50)
Deaths per Million: 350 (rank 46/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.41% (rank 41/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 3.2% (rank 41/48)
Tests per 100000: 169359 (rank 26/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 4.9% (rank 31/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 74.3% (rank 14/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 42.5% (rank 40/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 4% (rank 45/45)
France Counts
Cases per Million: 283439 (rank 9/50)
Deaths per Million: 1938 (rank 26/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.68% (rank 34/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 6.4% (rank 36/48)
Tests per 100000: 337604 (rank 11/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 7.4% (rank 24/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 76.1% (rank 11/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 60.9% (rank 7/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 24.7% (rank 4/45)
Germany Counts
Cases per Million: 117354 (rank 40/50)
Deaths per Million: 1404 (rank 35/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.2% (rank 17/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 5% (rank 39/48)
Tests per 100000: 118541 (rank 31/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 8.8% (rank 21/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 73% (rank 16/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 63.3% (rank 3/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 24.8% (rank 3/45)
Gibraltar Counts
Cases per Million: 381348 (rank 3/50)
Deaths per Million: 2968 (rank 11/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.78% (rank 30/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 3.2% (rank 42/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 120.7% (rank 1/50)
Greece Counts
Cases per Million: 185232 (rank 31/50)
Deaths per Million: 2254 (rank 21/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.22% (rank 16/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 9.8% (rank 31/48)
Tests per 100000: 539885 (rank 8/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.3% (rank 37/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 69.9% (rank 20/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 70.2% (rank 2/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 24.6% (rank 5/45)
Greenland Counts
Cases per Million: 187487 (rank 30/50)
Deaths per Million: 88 (rank 49/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.05% (rank 49/50)
Average Excess Mortality: -4% (rank 47/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 67.4% (rank 28/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 40.4% (rank 42/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 8.1% (rank 42/45)
Hungary Counts
Cases per Million: 156563 (rank 34/50)
Deaths per Million: 4279 (rank 3/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.73% (rank 5/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 15.3% (rank 21/48)
Tests per 100000: 98461 (rank 36/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 15.9% (rank 9/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 63.2% (rank 30/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.6% (rank 25/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 16.5% (rank 21/45)
Iceland Counts
Cases per Million: 174857 (rank 33/50)
Deaths per Million: 125 (rank 48/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.07% (rank 48/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 0.1% (rank 46/48)
Tests per 100000: 237148 (rank 18/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.9% (rank 34/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 77.5% (rank 8/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 41% (rank 41/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 6.5% (rank 43/45)
Ireland Counts
Cases per Million: 234732 (rank 22/50)
Deaths per Million: 1231 (rank 37/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.52% (rank 39/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 4% (rank 40/48)
Tests per 100000: 218621 (rank 20/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 10.7% (rank 18/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 77.6% (rank 7/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 62.3% (rank 4/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 26% (rank 1/45)
Isle of Man Counts
Cases per Million: 251259 (rank 15/50)
Deaths per Million: 831 (rank 41/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.33% (rank 43/50)
People Fully Vaccinated: 77.4% (rank 9/50)
Italy Counts
Cases per Million: 180983 (rank 32/50)
Deaths per Million: 2421 (rank 19/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.34% (rank 12/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 14% (rank 23/48)
Tests per 100000: 277110 (rank 15/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.3% (rank 28/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 75.9% (rank 12/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 71.4% (rank 1/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 26% (rank 2/45)
Kosovo Counts
Cases per Million: 114664 (rank 42/50)
Deaths per Million: 1690 (rank 29/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.47% (rank 10/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 34.9% (rank 2/48)
Tests per 100000: 90103 (rank 37/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 12.1% (rank 12/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 45.1% (rank 40/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 58.3% (rank 12/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 19.3% (rank 14/45)
Latvia Counts
Cases per Million: 208357 (rank 26/50)
Deaths per Million: 2607 (rank 16/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.25% (rank 14/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 14.1% (rank 22/48)
Tests per 100000: 321154 (rank 14/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.2% (rank 29/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 68.8% (rank 23/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.7% (rank 29/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 15.6% (rank 24/45)
Liechtenstein Counts
Cases per Million: 231453 (rank 23/50)
Deaths per Million: 1908 (rank 27/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.82% (rank 26/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 8.4% (rank 34/48)
Tests per 100000: 236922 (rank 19/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 7.4% (rank 23/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 68% (rank 25/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.1% (rank 35/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 12.3% (rank 32/45)
Lithuania Counts
Cases per Million: 250391 (rank 17/50)
Deaths per Million: 2922 (rank 12/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.17% (rank 18/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 24.4% (rank 11/48)
Tests per 100000: 276375 (rank 16/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 8.3% (rank 22/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 69.1% (rank 22/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.3% (rank 33/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 19.2% (rank 15/45)
Luxembourg Counts
Cases per Million: 241701 (rank 21/50)
Deaths per Million: 1493 (rank 33/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.62% (rank 35/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 2.1% (rank 43/48)
Tests per 100000: 624046 (rank 7/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.7% (rank 36/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 67.7% (rank 27/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 47.9% (rank 37/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 9.1% (rank 40/45)
Malta Counts
Cases per Million: 130882 (rank 37/50)
Deaths per Million: 1060 (rank 40/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.81% (rank 29/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 5.1% (rank 38/48)
Tests per 100000: 325228 (rank 13/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 4% (rank 33/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 86.8% (rank 3/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.9% (rank 22/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 23.5% (rank 7/45)
Moldova Counts
Cases per Million: 108908 (rank 43/50)
Deaths per Million: 2643 (rank 15/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.43% (rank 8/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 22% (rank 15/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 25.1% (rank 49/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 54.9% (rank 17/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 22.5% (rank 8/45)
Monaco Counts
Cases per Million: 207060 (rank 27/50)
Deaths per Million: 1164 (rank 38/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.56% (rank 38/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 15.4% (rank 20/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 59% (rank 33/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 54.4% (rank 19/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 18% (rank 17/45)
Montenegro Counts
Cases per Million: 349180 (rank 5/50)
Deaths per Million: 4068 (rank 4/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.17% (rank 19/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 25.6% (rank 10/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 44.2% (rank 41/50)
Netherlands Counts
Cases per Million: 252112 (rank 14/50)
Deaths per Million: 1243 (rank 36/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.49% (rank 40/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 10.3% (rank 30/48)
Tests per 100000: 144882 (rank 28/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 16.4% (rank 6/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 71.7% (rank 18/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 58.9% (rank 11/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 20.3% (rank 12/45)
North Macedonia Counts
Cases per Million: 128773 (rank 38/50)
Deaths per Million: 4025 (rank 5/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.13% (rank 3/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 38.3% (rank 1/48)
Tests per 100000: 78311 (rank 38/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 14.4% (rank 10/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 39.6% (rank 44/50)
Norway Counts
Cases per Million: 139977 (rank 35/50)
Deaths per Million: 263 (rank 47/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.19% (rank 46/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 2% (rank 44/48)
Tests per 100000: 182858 (rank 23/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.9% (rank 26/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 72.9% (rank 17/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.4% (rank 30/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 10.7% (rank 36/45)
Poland Counts
Cases per Million: 128388 (rank 39/50)
Deaths per Million: 2782 (rank 14/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.17% (rank 9/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 20.8% (rank 16/48)
Tests per 100000: 77988 (rank 39/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 16.1% (rank 8/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 57.3% (rank 35/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 55% (rank 16/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 16% (rank 22/45)
Portugal Counts
Cases per Million: 256875 (rank 13/50)
Deaths per Million: 1953 (rank 25/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.76% (rank 33/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 9.7% (rank 32/48)
Tests per 100000: 328574 (rank 12/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 7.1% (rank 25/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 90.4% (rank 2/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 61.1% (rank 5/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 23.5% (rank 6/45)
Romania Counts
Cases per Million: 114827 (rank 41/50)
Deaths per Million: 3136 (rank 10/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.73% (rank 6/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 23.3% (rank 13/48)
Tests per 100000: 98814 (rank 35/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 11.4% (rank 14/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 41.6% (rank 43/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 57.2% (rank 14/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 17.2% (rank 19/45)
Russia Counts
Cases per Million: 79139 (rank 48/50)
Deaths per Million: 2221 (rank 22/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.81% (rank 4/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 31.4% (rank 4/48)
Tests per 100000: 172491 (rank 25/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 4.4% (rank 32/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 47.6% (rank 38/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.8% (rank 28/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 8.6% (rank 41/45)
San Marino Counts
Cases per Million: 366422 (rank 4/50)
Deaths per Million: 3205 (rank 9/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.87% (rank 24/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 25.7% (rank 9/48)
People Fully Vaccinated: 63.9% (rank 29/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.2% (rank 34/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 17.3% (rank 18/45)
Serbia Counts
Cases per Million: 241932 (rank 20/50)
Deaths per Million: 1975 (rank 24/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.82% (rank 27/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 27% (rank 8/48)
Tests per 100000: 116572 (rank 33/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 20.2% (rank 4/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 47.1% (rank 39/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.9% (rank 27/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 19% (rank 16/45)
Slovakia Counts
Cases per Million: 286664 (rank 8/50)
Deaths per Million: 3270 (rank 8/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.14% (rank 20/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 24.4% (rank 12/48)
Tests per 100000: 873485 (rank 5/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.2% (rank 38/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 48.7% (rank 37/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 53.4% (rank 21/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 17.1% (rank 20/45)
Slovenia Counts
Cases per Million: 337804 (rank 6/50)
Deaths per Million: 2818 (rank 13/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.83% (rank 25/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 12.6% (rank 25/48)
Tests per 100000: 116677 (rank 32/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 27.1% (rank 1/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 58.1% (rank 34/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 53.5% (rank 20/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 21.8% (rank 9/45)
Spain Counts
Cases per Million: 209201 (rank 25/50)
Deaths per Million: 1989 (rank 23/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.95% (rank 21/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 13% (rank 24/48)
Tests per 100000: 173455 (rank 24/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 11.6% (rank 13/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 81.9% (rank 5/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 57.9% (rank 13/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 16% (rank 23/45)
Sweden Counts
Cases per Million: 203782 (rank 28/50)
Deaths per Million: 1561 (rank 30/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.77% (rank 32/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 5.9% (rank 37/48)
Tests per 100000: 165524 (rank 27/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 10.6% (rank 19/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 74.3% (rank 15/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.6% (rank 23/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 12.1% (rank 33/45)
Switzerland Counts
Cases per Million: 244516 (rank 18/50)
Deaths per Million: 1455 (rank 34/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.6% (rank 37/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 9% (rank 33/48)
Tests per 100000: 191547 (rank 22/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 12.5% (rank 11/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 67.9% (rank 26/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.3% (rank 26/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 14.7% (rank 29/45)
UK Counts
Cases per Million: 242049 (rank 19/50)
Deaths per Million: 2285 (rank 20/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.94% (rank 23/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 11.5% (rank 26/48)
Tests per 100000: 634571 (rank 6/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.7% (rank 35/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 70.8% (rank 19/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 59.7% (rank 10/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 19.7% (rank 13/45)
Ukraine Counts
Cases per Million: 97365 (rank 45/50)
Deaths per Million: 2457 (rank 18/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.52% (rank 7/50)
Average Excess Mortality: 16.7% (rank 19/48)
Tests per 100000: 41062 (rank 42/42)
Cumulative Cases per Test: 23.4% (rank 2/42)
People Fully Vaccinated: 33.5% (rank 46/50)
Average Lockdown Stringency: 60.3% (rank 8/45)
Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 14.8% (rank 28/45)
Vatican Counts
Cases per Million: 35714 (rank 50/50)
Deaths per Million: 0 (rank 50/50)
Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0% (rank 50/50)
People Fully Vaccinated: 0% (rank 50/50)

Current Status

So, how are all these countries doing right now? Here are the current daily cases per million:

The Faeroes and Denmark seem to be using the opportunity provided by the omicron variant to “go for broke” in pursuit of herd immunity. Slovenia, Portugal and France head the chasing pack.

To see who has crested the omicron wave (or has not yet started on it), and who has not, here are the current week-on-week case growth percentages:

Some of the countries lower in the current daily cases table, notably the UK and Ireland, look as if they have already crested the omicron wave. In south-eastern Europe, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria look to have crested too. Some other countries, such as Belarus, look to be yet to be hit by it.

Here are the current deaths per million, and the current deaths per case, with the case dates offset by 21 days:

Ouch! Things are not good at all on the COVID front in Eastern Europe. And in Western Europe, the worst hit countries at the moment, from the point of view of deaths per case, are Germany, Greece, Malta and Italy. The three most heavily locked down countries in Europe over the whole epidemic, and the one which has locked down hardest on face mask mandates! I’m tempted to say, Oops. By failing to “let omicron rip,” they have extended the lifespan of the more lethal delta variant. Over-caution costs lives.

Here are the lists of percentages of hospital and ICU beds filled by COVID patients:

No-one looks to be in any trouble as far as hospital beds are concerned, at least not by comparison with the wave of a year ago. For ICUs, the Slovenians do face a big shortage; which they may possibly be able to alleviate by sending patients to neighbour Austria, just as the Dutch sent patients to Germany early in the epidemic. France, Spain, Portugal and Slovakia are the other four which seem to have the most worries on ICU capacity.

And to complete the review, here are the current lockdown stringencies:

As usual, Germany, Italy and Greece are right up there; and for ICU reasons, Slovenia is too. The French also have ICU reasons for staying locked down, though both the Spanish and Portuguese have lowered their stringencies recently.

To sum up

A few tentative conclusions, some of which are more obvious than others.

  1. The Nordic countries have done well against the virus. Except for Sweden, they have done excellently. Luxembourg has done as well as anyone else, and the Isle of Man has also done well.
  2. Ready availability of test kits seems to be a big factor in minimizing deaths.
  3. Vaccination, above about 60% of the population, seems to help lower deaths per case. But the effect of vaccinations on transmission of the virus is not clear.
  4. At this stage, the countries with the highest lockdowns over the course of the epidemic so far are generally doing badly against the virus. It remains to be seen how long this will continue.
  5. There is no clear evidence of face mask mandates lowering death rates.
  6. The COVID situation looks promising in most countries in Western Europe. But not yet in Eastern Europe; and particularly not in Belarus and Russia.

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