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April 2, 2020

Covid-19 daily death totals: “are we flattening the curve”?

By Duncan West

While every nation is giving regular updates on deaths linked to the virus, it can be difficult to interpret this data. Daily death totals are volatile and can fluctuate rapidly from day to day; countries can change the time they report, or their methodology, leading to sudden and abrupt change.

In these charts we smooth out the data by using a rolling three-day average of deaths. Each day is plotted against the average number of new deaths reported over the previous three days. The percentage increases (or decreases) are plotted separately. The chart covers the countries where the highest number of deaths overall, excluding China – where daily confirm deaths have slowed to a trickle – and Iran, where the data may not be reliable. The charts start at the point each country passed 50 Covid-19 deaths in total.

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