Wednesday, 29 September 2021

COVID Follow-ups: Eastern Europe

This is the second of my follow-up reports on COVID-19 in individual countries. It covers Eastern Europe, which I have previously treated as two groups: “Eastern Europe (North)” and “Eastern Europe (South).” The data, on which I am basing all these reports, goes up to September 22nd 2021.

As in the first report, I will first show lists of susceptibles (that is, the percentage of the population exposed to the virus given certain assumptions in the efficacy of vaccines) and average and current stacked lockdowns, which add up the lockdown percentages for nine different kinds of lockdown. Then I will show each of the 23 countries individually, in alphabetical order.


Here are the ordered lists of percentages of “susceptibles”:

Ukraine has done the least vaccinating, and Cyprus, Czechia and Lithuania the most.


Here are the stacked bar charts of average lockdown levels:

Greece stands out as the heaviest locker-down, by some way. And it seems that the further north you go, the lighter the lockdowns tend to become.

Here are the current lockdown levels:


Albania Counts

Cases per Million: 57466 (rank 71/191)

Deaths per Million: 905 (rank 68/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.6% (rank 96/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 32.4% (rank 12/91)

Tests per 100000: 25654 (rank 78/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 18% (rank 17/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 25.3% (rank 91/191)

People Vaccinated: 31.8% (rank 102/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 59% (rank 85/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 24.1% (rank 57/173)

Albania Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 282 (rank 31/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.03 (rank 69/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.19 (rank 57/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 0.73% (rank 120/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -6.51% (rank 81/91)

Current Susceptibles: 76.52% (rank 95/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 38% (rank 126/174)

The Albanians have had a three-peak epidemic so far. Cases per million are fairly low, deaths per case so far low to middling, and average excess mortality very high. The high cumulative cases per test suggests a shortage of test kits. Lockdowns have been above average for the area, and vaccination activity low to middling for the area. For the last month, however, the Albanians seem to have been holding off the latest (delta) variant, even though the lockdown stringency is only 38%. Verdict: Not an impressive performance, but they may have missed many cases, so may be closer to herd immunity than expected.


Belarus Counts

Cases per Million: 55309 (rank 74/191)

Deaths per Million: 428 (rank 95/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.8% (rank 157/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 22.8% (rank 25/91)

Tests per 100000: 87250 (rank 42/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.3% (rank 81/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 15.4% (rank 114/191)

People Vaccinated: 18.6% (rank 124/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 34.4% (rank 165/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 14.6% (rank 123/173)

Belarus Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 208 (rank 40/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.07 (rank 56/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 1.33 (rank 70/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 0.85% (rank 110/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 1.8% (rank 61/91)

Current Susceptibles: 83.85% (rank 79/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 19.4% (rank 167/174)

The Belarussians closed their borders early, and managed to miss the worst of the first wave. But the second wave was bigger, and the third is still on the way up. Deaths per million are rather low, considering the high average excess mortality; they may, perhaps, have classified many deaths with COVID present as being from co-morbidities, where other countries may have classified them as COVID deaths. But the testing numbers look good, and lockdowns have been consistently very low. If I can believe their numbers (and I don’t see any obvious evidence of hanky-panky), then the Belarussians have done well so far with a light lockdown strategy.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina Counts

Cases per Million: 70281 (rank 58/191)

Deaths per Million: 3172 (rank 2/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 4.5% (rank 14/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 28.6% (rank 18/91)

Tests per 100000: 36650 (rank 70/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 19% (rank 14/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 13.1% (rank 120/191)

People Vaccinated: 19.4% (rank 122/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.4% (rank 134/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 13.6% (rank 133/173)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 237 (rank 35/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.26 (rank 25/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 9.72 (rank 10/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 6% (rank 17/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 18.5% (rank 31/91)

Current Susceptibles: 82.41% (rank 85/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 35.2% (rank 135/174)

Deaths per million are now second worst in the world, which tallies with the high excess mortality. Shortages of test kits may well have led to under-recording of cases per million. Lockdowns have been quite light for the area. Not much vaccination activity compared with Western Europe. Cases are still increasing towards a third peak. Verdict: The Bosnians (not to mention the Herzegovinians) aren’t out of the wood yet.


Bulgaria Counts

Cases per Million: 70699 (rank 57/191)

Deaths per Million: 2936 (rank 6/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 4.2% (rank 15/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 21.1% (rank 29/91)

Tests per 100000: 67093 (rank 54/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 10.5% (rank 48/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 18.5% (rank 103/191)

People Vaccinated: 15.8% (rank 129/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.2% (rank 138/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 9.8% (rank 155/173)

Bulgaria Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 216 (rank 39/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.15 (rank 41/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 9.16 (rank 11/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 4.1% (rank 27/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 25.37% (rank 24/91)

Current Susceptibles: 82.06% (rank 87/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 20.4% (rank 166/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 662.9 (rank 1/30) (8.9% full)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 55.1 (rank 2/26)

The Bulgarian epidemic profile is very like the Bosnian one, even though they are not neighbours. Though here, it is possible that the third wave may be peaking or about to peak, as in Albania. The hospitals and ICUs are obviously badly stretched at the moment. Lockdowns less harsh than most other countries in Eastern Europe. Verdict: Still a way to go.


Croatia Counts

Cases per Million: 96798 (rank 29/191)

Deaths per Million: 2092 (rank 19/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.2% (rank 66/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 13.3% (rank 44/91)

Tests per 100000: 67417 (rank 52/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 14.4% (rank 33/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 40.9% (rank 62/191)

People Vaccinated: 43.7% (rank 83/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 48% (rank 139/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 11.5% (rank 146/173)

Croatia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 287 (rank 30/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.27 (rank 22/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.66 (rank 42/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 1.99% (rank 62/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -6.01% (rank 80/91)

Current Susceptibles: 63.33% (rank 132/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 33.8% (rank 140/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 114.9 (rank 10/30) (2.1% full)

Another three-peak profile, like the Bosnians and Bulgarians. The big differences here are in the significantly lower deaths per case than the other two, and the significantly higher vaccinations. Lockdowns similar to Bulgaria. Verdict: We’ll have to wait and see, but they have controlled deaths significantly better than Bosnia or Bulgaria.


Cyprus Counts

Cases per Million: 132328 (rank 11/191)

Deaths per Million: 617 (rank 84/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.5% (rank 174/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 1% (rank 78/91)

Tests per 100000: 1435240 (rank 1/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 0.9% (rank 118/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 60.9% (rank 31/191)

People Vaccinated: 66.3% (rank 37/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 63.4% (rank 60/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 18.4% (rank 94/173)

Cyprus Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 163 (rank 54/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.63 (rank 4/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.25 (rank 54/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 0.76% (rank 117/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -31.13% (rank 91/91)

Current Susceptibles: 45.94% (rank 171/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 43.5% (rank 103/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 126.1 (rank 8/30) (3.7% full)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 22.5 (rank 8/26)

Another three-peak epidemic, as seems usual for the area; but what a difference! High cases per million, low deaths per million, excess mortality almost trivial. The third peak shows the characteristic “integral sign” of the delta variant, so they’re hopefully over that hump now. Highest vaccinator in the area. But lockdowns have been high for the area, comparable with Western Europe. Verdict: They might have got away with locking down a bit less hard, but otherwise they seem to have got it as near right as anyone.


Czechia Counts

Cases per Million: 157344 (rank 5/191)

Deaths per Million: 2839 (rank 7/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.8% (rank 78/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 20.1% (rank 31/91)

People Fully Vaccinated: 55% (rank 41/191)

People Vaccinated: 56.4% (rank 62/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 53.7% (rank 110/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 17.8% (rank 97/173)

Czechia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 41 (rank 106/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.2 (rank 33/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 0.39 (rank 108/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.08% (rank 59/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -7.47% (rank 82/91)

Current Susceptibles: 48.44% (rank 168/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 32.4% (rank 142/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 11.9 (rank 30/30) (0.2% full)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 1.9 (rank 25/26) (1.6% full)

Very high cases and deaths per million, high average excess mortality. Strong vaccination program. Lockdowns generally mid-table for the area. No testing data provided – maybe lack of test kits could account for the relatively high deaths per case? But the really important bit is at the far right of the graph. Since early June, new cases have been low and almost flat. And this is the period, during which the delta variant arrived in other countries in the area! I suspect they’re as close to herd immunity as anyone. Verdict: The Czechs lost a lot of people, but from here on they’re looking in as good shape as anyone.


Estonia Counts

Cases per Million: 114166 (rank 18/191)

Deaths per Million: 1007 (rank 62/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.9% (rank 151/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 7.9% (rank 59/91)

Tests per 100000: 141257 (rank 28/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 8% (rank 63/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 44.2% (rank 56/191)

People Vaccinated: 56.4% (rank 61/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 40.6% (rank 156/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 10.7% (rank 150/173)

Estonia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 368 (rank 22/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.17 (rank 38/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.16 (rank 58/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 0.82% (rank 111/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 14.25% (rank 35/91)

Current Susceptibles: 56.74% (rank 147/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 28.7% (rank 155/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 135.8 (rank 6/30) (2.9% full)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 11.3 (rank 19/26) (7.8% full)

The Estonian epidemic data looks almost as if it is a Nordic country! (Which, culturally, it nearly is). Low deaths per million and deaths per case. Strong testing, quite light lockdowns. But cases and deaths are rising now, albeit fairly slowly. It looks to me as if they’re going for herd immunity, like the UK. Verdict: If they can get over this hump without too much damage, I think they’ll probably be fine.


Greece Counts

Cases per Million: 61608 (rank 65/191)

Deaths per Million: 1405 (rank 42/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.3% (rank 57/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 7.9% (rank 60/91)

Tests per 100000: 179497 (rank 18/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.4% (rank 106/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 57.3% (rank 38/191)

People Vaccinated: 61.4% (rank 54/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 66.4% (rank 43/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 21% (rank 75/173)

Greece Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 223 (rank 37/191)

Reproduction Rate: 0.98 (rank 84/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 3.64 (rank 34/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 1.27% (rank 87/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 60.86% (rank 6/91)

Current Susceptibles: 56.2% (rank 148/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 60.7% (rank 43/174)

The Greeks have suffered stringent lockdowns, meaning low cases per million. But deaths per case have been very poor; even though there has been no lack of test kits. Greece has been one of the more active vaccinators. But the current state of things is very bad. That current excess mortality is huge! When all is said and done, it may turn out that the Greeks lost more than they gained through those draconian lockdowns; and not just economically.


Hungary Counts

Cases per Million: 85012 (rank 39/191)

Deaths per Million: 3129 (rank 3/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.7% (rank 19/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 13.3% (rank 43/91)

Tests per 100000: 65964 (rank 55/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 12.9% (rank 37/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 57.8% (rank 37/191)

People Vaccinated: 60.8% (rank 57/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 56.5% (rank 100/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 20% (rank 83/173)

Hungary Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 42 (rank 104/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.34 (rank 14/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 0.43 (rank 103/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.43% (rank 53/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -3.87% (rank 77/91)

Current Susceptibles: 53.16% (rank 159/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 27.8% (rank 157/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 22.8 (rank 24/30) (0.3% full)

The Hungarians could almost ignore the first wave; but the next two waves gave them a very nasty experience. Third highest deaths per million in the world, but cases per million only moderate. It seems they tried to keep out the virus by closing the borders from September to May; but they did that too late, as the second-wave variant was already in the country. High cases per test and deaths per case seem to indicate that lack of test kits has been (and still is) a problem. Lockdowns have been middling for the area, and Hungary is one of the more active vaccinators. Apart from the high deaths per case, Hungary’s profile now looks much like Czechia’s; though cases are now increasing, perhaps due to the delta variant. Verdict: A nightmare, but the worst of the worst may well be over now.


Kosovo Counts

Cases per Million: 82518 (rank 41/191)

Deaths per Million: 1509 (rank 38/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.8% (rank 77/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 31.1% (rank 14/91)

Tests per 100000: 59994 (rank 58/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 13.7% (rank 35/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 22% (rank 96/191)

People Vaccinated: 37.4% (rank 91/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 63% (rank 62/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 23.3% (rank 63/173)

Kosovo Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 108 (rank 70/191)

Reproduction Rate: 0.63 (rank 162/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 5.32 (rank 22/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 0.6% (rank 129/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 45.17% (rank 12/91)

Current Susceptibles: 75.68% (rank 101/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 32.4% (rank 142/174)

Very high average excess mortality, and even higher currently; suggesting that COVID deaths may have been undercounted. The recent peak clearly shows the signature of the delta variant; but they seem to have got over it, so there’s hope. High cumulative cases per test may indicate that shortage of test kits has been a problem. Second highest average lockdowns in the region. Low vaccination activity compared with others in the region. Verdict: Not good, and may actually be worse than it looks if COVID deaths have been undercounted.


Latvia Counts

Cases per Million: 81372 (rank 43/191)

Deaths per Million: 1427 (rank 41/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.8% (rank 81/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 8.6% (rank 57/91)

Tests per 100000: 178874 (rank 19/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 4.2% (rank 98/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 43.2% (rank 58/191)

People Vaccinated: 47.4% (rank 74/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 50.5% (rank 130/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 16.4% (rank 107/173)

Latvia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 263 (rank 34/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.28 (rank 20/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.83 (rank 39/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.36% (rank 55/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 1.76% (rank 62/91)

Current Susceptibles: 63.3% (rank 133/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 38% (rank 126/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 125.3 (rank 9/30) (2.3% full)

Like its neighbour Estonia, Latvia has locked down relatively lightly for the area. Like Estonia, cases are currently on an upward trend, presumably due to the delta variant. But Latvia hasn’t done as well as Estonia in terms of deaths per million or deaths per case. Test figures at first sight look OK, but cases per test are higher than you would expect from that many tests. Latvia is mid-table in vaccinations. Verdict: We’ll have to see how the next peak turns out.


Lithuania Counts

Cases per Million: 118698 (rank 15/191)

Deaths per Million: 1803 (rank 28/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.5% (rank 103/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 18.9% (rank 36/91)

Tests per 100000: 181710 (rank 16/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 6.4% (rank 79/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 60% (rank 33/191)

People Vaccinated: 63.9% (rank 43/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 49.7% (rank 133/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 18.9% (rank 87/173)

Lithuania Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 432 (rank 20/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.24 (rank 28/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 5.79 (rank 18/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.62% (rank 50/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 23.47% (rank 26/91)

Current Susceptibles: 48.91% (rank 165/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 30.6% (rank 147/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 282.9 (rank 2/30) (4.3% full)

The Lithuanian epidemic profile is quite like Latvia, except cases and deaths per million, and excess mortality, are higher. Third from the top in vaccinations; mid-table in lockdowns, but currently in a relatively light one. Verdict: Like Latvia, we’ll have to wait and see. The trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania could provide an interesting test of the strategy of “letting the virus rip” in order to reach herd immunity.


Moldova Counts

Cases per Million: 70904 (rank 56/191)

Deaths per Million: 1648 (rank 34/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.3% (rank 56/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 22.1% (rank 27/91)

Tests per 100000: 42314 (rank 67/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 16.6% (rank 24/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 18.7% (rank 101/191)

People Vaccinated: 14.2% (rank 134/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 60.4% (rank 77/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 26.7% (rank 44/173)

Moldova Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 265 (rank 32/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.38 (rank 12/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.59 (rank 43/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 3.19% (rank 41/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 12.17% (rank 37/91)

Current Susceptibles: 82.48% (rank 83/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 29.6% (rank 149/174)

Quite high lockdowns, higher yet in full lockdowns. Not many cases per million, quite high deaths per case and high excess mortality. Low vaccination numbers. Unlike countries like Estonia and Latvia, I’m not sure they’re anywhere near the end-game yet. Verdict: I fear this one may have a way to run.


Montenegro Counts

Cases per Million: 203636 (rank 2/191)

Deaths per Million: 2984 (rank 5/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.5% (rank 106/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 24% (rank 23/91)

People Fully Vaccinated: 32.3% (rank 75/191)

People Vaccinated: 36.5% (rank 94/191)

Montenegro Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 941 (rank 3/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.03 (rank 69/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 12.74 (rank 5/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 1.33% (rank 83/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 56.72% (rank 7/91)

Current Susceptibles: 58.52% (rank 144/191)

Ouch! The Montenegrins dealt very well with the first wave, but since then there have been nothing but problems. Second in the world in cumulative cases per million, third in current cases per million, fifth in cumulative deaths per million, seventh in current excess mortality. They haven’t been providing either testing or lockdown data, so it’s hard to work out the reasons behind the problems; though lack of test kits seems unlikely to be one of them. Vaccinations are higher than some. Verdict: They’re in trouble, and it isn’t over yet.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia Counts

Cases per Million: 90323 (rank 34/191)

Deaths per Million: 3126 (rank 4/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.5% (rank 26/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 34.9% (rank 9/91)

Tests per 100000: 60091 (rank 57/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 14.9% (rank 30/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 32.1% (rank 77/191)

People Vaccinated: 36.9% (rank 92/191)

North Macedonia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 221 (rank 38/191)

Reproduction Rate: 0.89 (rank 109/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 11.8 (rank 6/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.95% (rank 44/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 26.37% (rank 23/91)

Current Susceptibles: 70.27% (rank 119/191)

Ouch again! In many ways, similar to Montenegro. Fourth in the world in deaths per million, ninth in average excess mortality. High deaths per case and cases per test suggest test kit shortages have been a problem; maybe this is why Montenegro shows so many more cases per million than North Macedonia. Vaccinations are low. No lockdown data provided. Verdict: We don’t know how many cases they have missed, but they’re in trouble. The race (to the bottom?) between North Macedonia and Montenegro will be interesting.


Poland Counts

Cases per Million: 76723 (rank 48/191)

Deaths per Million: 1998 (rank 22/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.6% (rank 46/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 19.5% (rank 35/91)

Tests per 100000: 53159 (rank 61/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 14.4% (rank 32/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 50.9% (rank 49/191)

People Vaccinated: 51.9% (rank 67/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 58.1% (rank 87/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 18.8% (rank 88/173)

Poland Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 18 (rank 125/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.3 (rank 18/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 0.26 (rank 120/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 3.91% (rank 32/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -11.04% (rank 85/91)

Current Susceptibles: 59.26% (rank 142/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 38.9% (rank 121/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 17.9 (rank 27/30) (0.3% full)

Cases per million low, probably due to relatively high lockdowns. High cases per test suggest shortages of test kits. Deaths per million higher than many in this group; comparable with Lithuania. Daily cases per million now are very low, but rising. Vaccinations are higher than some in the area. I see no evidence that the delta variant has yet had a significant impact in Poland; which is concerning if you compare the profile with Lithuania or Latvia, or even Moldova. Verdict: The Poles have been through a lot of bad stuff already, and I suspect there may be more where that came from.


Romania Counts

Cases per Million: 60953 (rank 67/191)

Deaths per Million: 1874 (rank 25/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.1% (rank 33/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 16.1% (rank 37/91)

Tests per 100000: 49121 (rank 63/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 12.3% (rank 39/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 27.5% (rank 86/191)

People Vaccinated: 28.1% (rank 107/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 57.8% (rank 91/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 19.7% (rank 85/173)

Romania Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 264 (rank 33/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.6 (rank 5/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 4.75 (rank 25/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 8.79% (rank 10/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 1.2% (rank 64/91)

Current Susceptibles: 76.09% (rank 99/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 50% (rank 88/174)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 15.3 (rank 13/26)

I don’t like those numbers at all, at all. Despite high average lockdowns for the area, Romanian cases per million may have been understated, because it looks as if testing has been a problem. The delta variant is in there, and right now it looks pretty much out of control. Hopefully, as it has in Western Europe, it will prove less lethal than earlier variants. Verdict: There’s a long way to go here, too.


Russia Counts

Cases per Million: 49534 (rank 78/191)

Deaths per Million: 1350 (rank 46/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.7% (rank 42/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 22.4% (rank 26/91)

Tests per 100000: 128398 (rank 31/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 3.8% (rank 100/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 27.8% (rank 85/191)

People Vaccinated: 32% (rank 101/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 48.8% (rank 135/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 8.3% (rank 160/173)

Russia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 133 (rank 60/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.04 (rank 64/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 5.35 (rank 21/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 4.24% (rank 26/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 50.52% (rank 10/91)

Current Susceptibles: 76.38% (rank 97/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 52.3% (rank 76/174)

For a country the size of Russia, this epidemic was always going to be a long, long haul. Lockdowns have been relatively light for most of the epidemic; showing probably that the Russians understand they’re in for a long haul. Excess mortality is not good. I can’t see evidence of anything the Russians have actually done wrong, so this may just be a result of the nature of the beast. The delta variant seems to have hit them early, way back in June. Verdict: Still a long way to go.


Serbia Counts

Cases per Million: 130286 (rank 12/191)

Deaths per Million: 1159 (rank 54/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 0.9% (rank 150/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 19.8% (rank 34/91)

Tests per 100000: 79474 (rank 46/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 16% (rank 26/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 42% (rank 61/191)

People Vaccinated: 44.1% (rank 81/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 52.9% (rank 117/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 22.6% (rank 70/173)

Serbia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 1008 (rank 2/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.27 (rank 22/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 5.29 (rank 23/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 1.43% (rank 79/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 6.71% (rank 46/91)

Current Susceptibles: 59.34% (rank 141/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 36.1% (rank 133/174)

The average excess mortality figure suggests that deaths per million may well have been understated. Cumulative cases per million are quite high, and deaths per case low. Lockdown stringencies have been lower than some in the area, but the Serbs do seem to like their full lockdowns. The delta variant is currently at a peak, but they aren’t locking down hard; perhaps they think they have the virus all but beaten, like the Cypriots? Verdict: One to watch. Once they get over the next hump, I think they may be OK.


Slovakia Counts

Cases per Million: 74163 (rank 51/191)

Deaths per Million: 2305 (rank 12/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 3.1% (rank 31/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 20.7% (rank 30/91)

Tests per 100000: 761165 (rank 4/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 1% (rank 117/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 40.8% (rank 64/191)

People Vaccinated: 44.3% (rank 80/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 55.1% (rank 107/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 17.6% (rank 99/173)

Slovakia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 131 (rank 61/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.56 (rank 7/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 0.6 (rank 95/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 2.75% (rank 49/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -25.02% (rank 89/91)

Current Susceptibles: 65.2% (rank 127/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 30.6% (rank 147/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 26.2 (rank 22/30) (0.4% full)

Until quite recently, Slovakia had had an epidemic profile similar to its neighbour Czechia, except with far less recorded cases per million, higher deaths per case, and less vaccinations. But just recently, the signature of the dreaded delta variant has appeared in Slovakia. If that low cases per million count is accurate, they may need to start locking down again before too long; and then they will be a long way behind Czechia in the race for herd immunity. Verdict: If they can hold their nerve and get over the next hump without locking down, I think they should probably be OK. Otherwise, not.


Slovenia Counts

Cases per Million: 137713 (rank 10/191)

Deaths per Million: 2172 (rank 16/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 1.6% (rank 95/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 11.2% (rank 47/91)

Tests per 100000: 73879 (rank 49/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 18.5% (rank 15/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 46.4% (rank 54/191)

People Vaccinated: 52.3% (rank 66/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 54% (rank 109/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 23.3% (rank 64/173)

Slovenia Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 485 (rank 14/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.27 (rank 22/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.54 (rank 47/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 1.12% (rank 97/186)

Current Excess Mortality: -14.6% (rank 87/91)

Current Susceptibles: 56.07% (rank 151/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 35.2% (rank 135/174)

Hospital Occupancy per Million: 140.5 (rank 5/30) (3.1% full)

ICU Occupancy per Million: 33.7 (rank 3/26) (52.6% full)

High cases per million, high deaths per million, high cases per test. The Slovenian epidemic was comparable with Italy or the UK until June, but now they have been hit by the delta variant. Cumulative cases per test are high, suggesting shortages of test kits. Vaccinations are lower than in Western Europe. Their ICUs are getting uncomfortably full – a problem which also occurred in Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and UK. Verdict: This one could go either way from here. If they need to lock down to keep ICU occupancy in bounds, they may be in trouble.


Ukraine Counts

Cases per Million: 56792 (rank 72/191)

Deaths per Million: 1352 (rank 45/191)

Cumulative Deaths per Case: 2.4% (rank 55/191)

Average Excess Mortality: 11.5% (rank 46/91)

Tests per 100000: 28876 (rank 76/128)

Cumulative Cases per Test: 19.7% (rank 12/128)

People Fully Vaccinated: 11.8% (rank 122/191)

People Vaccinated: 14.5% (rank 133/191)

Average Lockdown Stringency: 60.9% (rank 73/174)

Average Time in Full Lockdowns: 15.8% (rank 112/173)

Ukraine Current Status

Daily Cases per Million: 129 (rank 63/191)

Reproduction Rate: 1.4 (rank 11/184)

Daily Deaths per Million: 2.4 (rank 50/186)

Deaths per Case (21 day offset): 4.81% (rank 24/186)

Current Excess Mortality: 3.33% (rank 56/91)

Current Susceptibles: 86.67% (rank 72/191)

Current Lockdown Stringency: 50.9% (rank 83/174)

High lockdowns for the area, so low cases per million. It looks like they have had test kit shortages. The delta variant has reached them, and is now “on the march.” Verdict: The prognosis is not good; unless the delta variant turns out to be a lot less lethal than its forbears.

To sum up

I didn’t do a summary at the end of the Western European review, so these tentative conclusions will cover the whole of Europe.

·       While there are sometimes patterns in common between countries in the same geographical area, almost every country’s experience has been different in one way or another.

·       Average excess mortality, and cumulative deaths per million, tend to increase as you go further east.

·       For similar average excess mortalities, some countries (e.g. Slovakia) are reporting a high COVID deaths per million, while others (Belarus, Kosovo, Serbia) report far lower deaths per million. This may reflect differing policies on what is counted as a COVID death.

·       Lack of test kits, shown up by high cases per test, often goes with high deaths per million. The converse, that a high level of testing tends to give lower deaths per million, is not always true; as for example in the UK.

·       Lockdowns tend to be lighter towards the north, heavier towards the south.

·       Countries which have maintained heavy lockdowns, such as Greece, can find themselves left with a long way to go to reach herd immunity. On the other hand, countries which have kept lighter lockdowns, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, can lose too many people too quickly. It’s a fine balance.

·       Some countries which have done relatively well against the virus: Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, perhaps Switzerland.

·       Some countries which I suspect have got their strategies wrong: Greece, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Ukraine.

·       Some countries which have got themselves into an ugly mess: Montenegro, North Macedonia.

·       Some countries which got themselves into a mess, but “got up off the ropes” and are now in relatively good shape: Belgium, Czechia, Hungary, San Marino.

·       Some “gamblers” now seeking to beat the virus by going all-out for herd immunity: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, UK, perhaps Slovakia and Slovenia too.

·       The most concerning European countries from today’s perspective: Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, perhaps Romania.


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