COVID-19, a disease spread by the coronavirus has turned into a pandemic. As per researchers, the coronavirus has more than one variable thus making it difficult to find its cure.
The spread of the coronavirus has differed with countries possibly due to differed climate, geography, genetic make-up, age-structure of population, BCG vaccination.
A comparative analysis is reported by The Wire, of the spread, and government responses to, the COVID-19 pandemic in four South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
As per the analysis, Sri Lanka was the first country among the four countries, stated above, with its first case reported on 27 January 2020 and within three days, India reported its first case – on 30 January. In another four weeks before Pakistan reported its first case on 26 February while Bangladesh reported its first case on 8 March, a week and a half after Pakistan.
To get a better comparative picture of the rapidity of the spread across the four countries The Wire counted cumulative cases in each country since it first reported 50 or more COVID-19 cases.
Upon comparing cumulative case counts since they first reported their 50th case and the daily case counts since they first reported their 50th case count some important differences were highlighted across these four countries regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Sri Lanka was the best performer. It has had the outbreak for the longest duration but had managed to limit the case count the most. Not only is its total case count was lower than in India and Pakistan but its daily growth rate has also been declining over the past several days.
India and Pakistan have recorded the highest number of cases, with India having about 11,499 more cases than Pakistan on the 53rd day of the outbreak (since each country first reported 50 or more cases).
The total case count in Bangladesh was relatively low on May 8 only because the epidemic started late in that country. But upon looking at its cumulative case count which has been comparable to India’s and Pakistan’s on similar days since it first reported its 50th case. It was found that the daily case count was rising in Bangladesh but the rate of increase in case counts seems to be lower in Bangladesh.
After looking at the death rate of COVID-19 (deaths per 100 confirmed cases) in the four countries, Bangladesh started with a very high death rate, but it has managed to reduce it drastically to below 2% within a month of the outbreak. In Sri Lanka, there was an initial period when the death rate was rising. But from day 20 onwards, the death rate in Sri Lanka has fallen steadily and is now close to 1%. In contrast, Pakistan and India have both seen the death rate rise over time. In terms of levels, the death rate at present is highest in India – at about 3.52%.
As reported by The Wire, in terms of the spread of COVID-19, Sri Lanka has the best position, and India is the worst hit.