Two things are clear from our latest charts plotting the rise and fall of Covid-19 deaths across the world.
The first is that countries like Italy and Spain are in a different phase of virus control to the UK and, in particular, the US. Italy has been showing a stable decline in daily deaths for more than a month; Spain, for nearly a month. Deaths in the UK are also in decline, even if the figures have been more erratic. More data is needed before we can say the same about the US with absolutely certainty.
The second is that the path down from the peak is a long and slow one. Our chart looks at a three-day rolling average of daily death counts to smooth out “noise” caused by unusually low or high reporting on individual days. At the peak of its Covid-19 outbreak, Italy recorded an average of 855 deaths in the three days to March 30.
A month on and that three-day average still stands at 325. Or to put it in more stark terms: up to March 30, 11,591 people had died from Covid-19. Since then there have been 15,768 more deaths in Italy, and we are not yet two-thirds of the way down from the peak. Many more deaths will, sadly, follow; other countries can expect to tread a similarly grim path.