Visualising Covid-19 data

Covid-19 as you will know has gripped the whole world. It has been classified as a pandemic by the WHO. I am no expert on the disease itself and do not have any expertise on policy making, it would be unwise for me to comment on the actions taken by all the different governments from around the world.

My interest in this is very academic and data driven. The numbers which are changing daily are used to chart the progress of the disease as well as study the impact of the various measures taken to counteract the spread of the virus.

Over the past few weeks, a lot of data has been used to produce graphics which can communicate effectively the information pertaining to this pandemic. Of most relevance I think are the number of confirmed cases and the deaths due to coronavirus stratified by country. Most of these graphics have focused on the raw numbers. Although the raw number is useful it nonetheless is incomplete. I think a better measure is to adjust the raw number by the population of the country. This provides a better measure as to how severe the effect of the virus has been on a country.

Keeping that in mind I produced some graphs for population-adjusted confirmed cases and deaths for some select countries. I plan to update these graphs on a regular basis over the coming weeks to understand the spread of this disease. All plots start on 1 February 2020 and end on the latest date for which I have the data. All data has been sourced from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE)a.

Further subdividing the population into gender and age subgroups can provide more nuanced information. A good source for such informative graphics and the related analysisb can be found here.


a JHU CSSE Covid-19 Github Data Repository: link
b Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Joe Hasell (2020) – “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research”. Published online at Retrieved from: ‘’ [Online Resource]