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Why Poor Nations Have Low Covid Deaths & Rich Ones High

MG is an air warrior and a global traveler who loves to visit and explore new places

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Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic originated towards the end of last year and has been traced to China. Views about the severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have evolved considerably since the outbreak. Initially many thought that it would be confined to China but within a short period, it spread to the rest of the world. In a matter of a few weeks, more than 5.5 million people in 213 countries were infected. Frantic research for an antidote or a vaccine commenced and to date, many countries have been able to bring to the table half a dozen vaccines.

The virus has however not abated and new strains of this virus have emerged. When the virus first appeared in the western world notably in the United States it was a bit of a surprise because the USA is a prosperous country with a high level of Medicare. The virus also enveloped countries in western Europe that were rich and affluent and soon the death rate per thousand rose alarmingly. Germany, Italy, and France suffered the most with the United Kingdom close on the heels.

Many western scientists were worried that if the western countries which were so advanced medically could suffer so badly, the poorer countries of Asia and Africa would face a bloodbath. I remember reading an article at the time wherein a scientist had forecast that there will be carts and carts of the dead in the developing and poor countries.

The fact is nothing like this happened and the number of deaths in the poor countries per million is much lower than the western countries which are economically advanced with better Medicare. This has come as a surprise and many have been saying that perhaps the developed world is hiding the figures of deaths. Maybe this could be partly true but the discrepancy of figures of deaths between the developed and the poor countries is so vast that figures cannot be doctored.


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why-poor-nations-have-low-covid-deaths-rich-ones-high

Deaths due to the virus

An unalienable fact has emerged which has been accepted by the scientific community in the western world. What is that fact? It is seen that the rate of deaths per million population in the poor and developing countries is much below the developed countries including the USA and Western Europe. I will exclude China from this discussion basically because there is so much secrecy in China. Yet the fact is that China which is the most populous country in the world with 1.5 billion has suffered a very low rate of death and infection compared to other countries in the world. I have read somewhere that surprisingly during this period the Chinese economy has also grown up by 21%.

One of my friends in Singapore who is from the Royal Air Force and settled here did mention that quite a few deaths and infections have not been reported in the developing world. He however went on to add that despite this there is definitely a big discrepancy between the spread of the virus in developing countries and the poor countries.

Scientists have now concluded that this is because of several factors. The first is age. If you look at the average age chart of Western Europe, one can see that it is much higher than the age chart of the developing countries. For example, the average age in India is 28, while in Italy it is 48. We also know that the virus affects older people more than younger people and with more older people in the developed world obviously, the infection and deaths are more.

This demographic shift in the western world definitely causes worry. It shows that younger people are not available and the population is aging. This is because of a variety of reasons and the major one is the fertility rate of the women. To sustain population growth a ratio of 2.1 is required while in many countries it just I or below one.

Another major reason is in developing countries the mass of the population does not have autoimmune antibodies. This is because diseases like leprosy end polio have been eradicated and vaccines are not being used for them. In the developing world, the BCG vaccine is still being used as well as anti-malaria medicines. This could be one reason why the infection and deaths are so low compared to the western developed world.

There could be many other reasons also but then one can make a general statement and say that the rate of deaths per million in the poor countries is much less compared to the western world.


The Future

In my opinion, the future of those countries which have an aging population, the chances of total recovery looks a little remote. In case the demographic chart is not changed the western nations particularly Western Europe will have no choice but to outsource all the manufacturing activities to China and also import labor from the Middle Eastern countries to run their services. This is a recipe for disaster and I really do not know how countries like Italy, France, and Spain are going to get out of this trap.

Despite the vaccine having come, the China virus could mutate into something else and that is the real cause of worry. I have also no doubt in my mind that the Chinese leadership definitely unleashed this virus. It is like opening Pandora's box but I do hope that the fairy(hope) which was left behind and then came out later is still there.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on January 01, 2021:

Thanks, Ashutosh for commenting

Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on January 01, 2021:

Does anyone really have an answer to that question? There are umpteen theories to choose from and that's about it.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Rochelle Frank, thank you for commenting. You have a point but all the same, statistics to an extent are true.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Thank you, Ruby, your comment is most welcome. I think you have a point regarding wearing off masks and keeping a distance. In Singapore, everybody follows the rules but I'm not sure in the USA.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on December 31, 2020:

Poorer nations have very limited testing and reporting. The statistics can be skewed by this fact

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 31, 2020:

Interesting data. I wonder if the people in the poorer parts of the world obey the rules better. We here in the US refuse to do what is suggested, by not wearing masks, keeping a distance and not traveling. I was surprised that Japan was so low in deaths, maybe it's because they eat food lower in calories than we do?

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Sangre, thank you for sparing time and commenting.I quite agree the younger crowd is the super spreader but the older more vulnerable

Sp Greaney from Ireland on December 31, 2020:

It will be very interesting to see the outcome of the vaccine in 2021. It is interesting to read about the situations in other places as I hadn't heard any of this.

The under 40's are the superspreaders here. We keep going in and out of level 5 lockdown because the R number keeping rising when we come out of level 3 lockdown which then make the government put us back in to level 5 lockdown.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Thank you, Tom, Sikhs, and Punjabis are the richest community in the US and Canada. I have been there and can vouchsafe for it.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Peggy, nice of you to have commented

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Thank you, Ankita for sparing time and commenting.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2020:

It is true that older people seem to be more adversely affected by Covid-19. The fact that more older people exist in rich nations versus poor is a valid point for more reported deaths.

Ankita B on December 31, 2020:

You have offered some important statistics and facts which can be very much true. This was an interesting read.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Chitra, sweet of you to give your comment.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 31, 2020:

This is an interesting read.

We have been reading about such reports in newspapers, and I agree with your analysis.

The mortality rate in India is much- much lower, considering it's population. And the recovery rate, if someone gets infected is much higher. According to the latest updates it's around 95% recovery.

Besides the reasons, which you have mentioned above, there may be other reasons, such as food habits, lifestyle, climate etc. This is a matter of research.

Thank you for sharing this engaging article.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Pamela, thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your sparing time.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 31, 2020:

This is a very interesting article, and your facts may be exactly right. It will be interesting to see how the vaccine affects the deaths.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Thank you, John, it's great interacting with you

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 31, 2020:

You offer some very interesting statistics and observations, MG.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Tom, we talk of Pakistan as a failed state but the average age is 24 and the deaths per million are just 45. Contrast with Western Europe where the average age hovers between 45-50.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 31, 2020:

Tom, Thank you for commenting. I wonder how the west always blames the Jews for anything gone wrong. Even Hitler pinned the defeat of Germany in WWI on Jews. Even now I have been to Eastern Europe and there is a lot of antisemitism there. The western world has a lot to learn from China and India. They better fertilize their women instead of wasting time on agitations for gay rights etc.

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