Data sources

International comparisons

Data for country comparisons comes from the Johns Hopkins Hospital website:
  • the daily updates [1],
  • the spreadsheet of deaths [2], and
  • the spreadsheet of cases [3].

Data cleaning
The epidemics have put enormous strain on medical and public health resources, so it is surprising that the databases contain some missing values - i.e. there are some instances where the total for one day is identical to that for the following day, even though there are significant numbers of cases daily. It is clear that the updated figures have somehow not reached the database through delays of some kind. Such missing values have been dealt with by interpolation. This affects a very small proportion of the database values - about 20 values in total, and does not affect any conclusion from international comparisons.

China update
China announced on 16 April 2020 a revision of the number of deaths in Wuhan amounting to an increase of 1290 deaths [4], and an increase in total deaths in China from 3346 to 4636 - i.e. by a factor of 1.3855. This was dealt with by scaling up the numbers of deaths prior to 16 April 2020 by a factor of 1.3855. This does not appreciably affect any conclusion from international comparisons since the differences between countries are so large.

UK update
On 29 April 2020, the UK Government announced an updated measure of deaths from covid-19 which would include some deaths in the community which had previously not been recorded for England [5]. This meant that an extra 3654 deaths were now included in the total. This was dealt with by scaling up the number of deaths prior to 29 April 2020 by a factor of 1.1686.

Comparisons within the UK

Data for UK regional and local authority comparisons comes from the UK Government website [5].


[1]Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
[2]John Hopkins Hospital spreadsheet of deaths
[3]John Hopkins Hospital spreadsheet of cases
[4]Reuters (17 Apr 2020) China says nearly 1,300 virus deaths not counted in Wuhan, cites early lapses
[5]Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK

First published: 27 Mar 2020
Last updated: 14 May 2020