Top Ten Update (27.3.21): The Red East

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Today is the Passover Seder, when millions of Jews around the world ask Ma Nishtana – what has changed? – and we’ll join them in this addition of the Top Ten Update, highlighting the changes in the list of states with the worst cPDI (composite Pandemic Danger Index). And we’ll start with the most visible change, which does not relate to any country in particular but to the world situation in general – which is getting much worse. If two weeks ago, a cPDI rating of 72 sufficed to get a country to the top ten, today you need 79 – and a 72 rating would actually be in 19th place. This can also be seen in the cPDI calculated for the entire world, which rose from 36 to 42 in two weeks – one of the sharpest rises we’ve seen.

As for the table itself, we have a new leader – Bosnia and Herzegovina, which gained 1 point and moved past Hungary to the top spot. Bosnia’s weekly incidence rate doesn’t look so bad – it’s at 326, compared to 627 in Hungary. But with a mortality rate of 5.7%, this translated to an expected mortality of 77 daily deaths – quite a lot in a country with only 3 million people. Toss in a test positivity rate of 33% (one in every three tests comes out positive!) and a reproduction rate of 1.16 (meaning daily cases are *still* rising) and you have the makings of a disaster.

Bosnia, however, is not alone: the five top spots of our cPDI ratings are held by states from Eastern and Southeastern Europe, including Northern Macedonia ( which gained 5 points and jumped from 6th to 2nd), Bulgaria (which remains at 3rd place with the same cPDI), Hungary (the former top position, which lost 3 points and fell to 4th due to a substantial drop in the reproduction rate) and Poland (which stayed in place but gained 3 cPDI points, and is now forecasted to get to 452 daily deaths within the next ten days).

In the lower half of the Top Ten, one more Eastern European state entered our list – the Ukraine, at 7th place – and with it the perennial trouble-spot Peru (re-entering at place 8) and a new problem spot – Armenia, at 9th. Meanwhile, three states left the top ten, but for only one of them (Czechia) it means things have improved; in the others (Estonia and Paraguay), the cPDI actually rose in the past two weeks, but they lost ground in our ratings because things got much worse in other places.

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