Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Covid-19: a pandemic in numbers

David Ottewell and the New Statesman's new data journalism team highlight some of the key statistics behind the global crisis.

By David Ottewell

On New Year’s Eve 2019, China notified the World Health Organisation of a cluster of unexplained pneumonia cases in Wuhan in the province of Hubei. This was Covid-19; the first case would eventually be traced to 8 December. Since then, more than 207,000 people have died of Covid-19. We know of at least three million cases. The number who have had the virus is likely many magnitudes higher. The death figures are more certain – but even here there are gaps in what we know.

Despite Covid-19’s origins in China, Europe and the US have borne the brunt of the devastation. Nearly three-quarters of deaths (72 per cent) have been in just five countries: the US, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. In recent days the average number of new deaths has started to fall slightly, with a peak being reached around 17 April. The US – which has recorded nearly twice as many deaths as anywhere else – appears to be taking longer to turn the corner.

The social effects in the UK will become clearer as more data emerges. We know that claims for Universal Credit are rocketing, mental health is suffering, and routine health services are at a near standstill. The first big wave has hit, but the ripple effect on our lives will continue for weeks, months and even years to come. 
*All charts use latest data as of 27 April

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy