Daily: Estonia has highest seven-day COVID-19 rate globally

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14-day coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Estonia by county. Source: Koroonakaart/Terviseamt

Estonia had as of Friday the highest coronavirus rate worldwide, daily Postimees reports. The actual picture depends on which figures are being looked at, however. The 14-day rate per 100,000 inhabitants for Estonia is still lower than the Czech Republic, the country which Estonia 'beat' into the top place.

Postimees wrote (link in Estonian) that the 1,111.27 people per million inhabitants have received a positive coronavirus test in Estonia, citing data from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD – the highest figure worldwide.

Estonia's population is a little over 1.3 million. Data released by the Health Board (Terviseamet) gives figures from March 6-12 of between 1,181 and 1,957 new coronavirus cases per day (see graph below), giving an average of 1,435 new cases per day for that period. Estimates put Estonia's current population at around 1.29 million, which would give a figure of 1,112 new cases per million – very close to the Postimees-cited figure.

On the other hand, as Postimees noted, by 14-day rates per 100,000 inhabitants, which naturally lag behind a 7-day figure, Estonia is still in second place, after the Czech Republic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) gives an incidence of 1,464 per 100,000 for Estonia compared with 1,563 for the Czech Republic, over the past 14 days, while the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) provides data in ranges, putting both Estonia and the Czech Republic on >= 960 per 100,000 for 14 days, the only two countries in Europe, and the world, to be in that bracket at present.

Estonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released data Friday evening which reported a figure for the Czech Republic of 1,572.0 per 100,000, indeed the highest in Europe. Since the list concerns only entry into Estonia from other countries, the domestic figure is not noted; the Health Board gave a figure of 1,465.1 per 100,000 on Friday.

According to Koroonakaart, four of Estonia's 15 counties have above-average 14-day COVID-19 rates per 100,000, namely Harju, Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru counties, together with Saaremaa (see cover image).

Postimees reports that the change in places between Estonia and the Czech Republic – a landlocked EU nation with a population of a little under 11 million – was the result of a rapid rise in cases, at 15 percent in Estonia, compared with a 5.4 percent fall in the Czech Republic, over the past week.

Extrapolating from that, Postimees says it expects Estonia to have usurped the Czech Republic for the overall number one spot based on 14-day rates within only a matter of time.

Many other indicators should be looked at in making coronavirus case comparisons between countries, regions etc. These would include total number of cases, active cases, number of deaths, testing rates and methods, vaccination rates and more.

The "big five" countries by coronavirus cases according to the ECDPC are the U.S., India, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the U.K.

Estonia's coronavirus-related death rate is, however, comparatively low, even in proportion to the size of the country, at 695 since the pandemic began, compared with a reported 22,865 for the Czech Republic. The U.K., population nearly 68 million, saw its coronavirus death toll surpass the 100,000-mark earlier this year.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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