|COVID-19 cases in
London and Berlin
Research by City Mayors
ON THIS PAGE: COVID-19 cases in London and Berlin: A four-week comparison ||| Daily CoronaVirus infections in London and Berlin between 11 March and 12 April 2020 ||| The Per Capita Index (PCI) ||| Notes and sources |||
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|COVID-19 cases in
London and Berlin:
A four-week comparison
18 April 2020: During February and early March 2020, COVID-19 infections in the UK and German capitals, London and Berlin, progressed slowly. In London, the first case was confirmed on 12 February but it was regarded as not significant. The infected individual had arrived from China and it was not thought that any human-to-human transmission had occurred. At the time, a senior health researcher from the University of Southampton was quoted as saying that it was not surprising that London had seen its first case of the CoronaVirus. “It’s a city of over 10 million people with several major international airports. Both London and the rest of the UK can expect to see more cases, though hopefully these will continue to be isolated cases and seen in small numbers.”
Throughout the second half of February and into early March, the number of new COVID-19 infections in London remained low. During the first week of March, the total number of cases had not reached double figures. The first substantial increase in cases occurred on 8 March. By 11 March there were 104 confirmed cases.
In Berlin, the CoronaVirus emerged relatively late. The first case was only reported on 2 March. At that time there were already more than a dozen confirmed infections in Bavaria, southern Germany. In Berlin, as in London, after a hesitant start, the number of COVID-19 cases rose rapidly. On 5 March, some 12 infections were confirmed in the German capital. A week later, with a total number 157 cases, the authorities knew that Berlin faced a serious epidemic. Both capital cities reported their first treble-figure daily increases on 14 March. Throughout the second half of March, the average daily number of new CoronaVirus cases stood at 393 in London and 158 in Berlin.
While the actual number of new cases in London was considerable higher than in Berlin, the speed with which the virus spread was very similar. From 15 to 31 March 2020, the average daily Per Capita Index (PCI) for London was 44.2, while Berlin had a PCI of 41.6. The PCI indicates the number of new COVID-19 cases per population. For example, while on 14 March London recorded 146 new cases compared to Berlin’s 105, the German city’s PCI, due to its smaller size, was above that of London. The higher the PCI, the faster the spread.
Up to 26 March, the PCIs of London and Berlin showed similar daily readings, meaning COVID-19 infections were spreading in both cities largely at the same pace. The similarities changed on 27 March, when London’s PCI rose to 80.7, while Berlin saw a decline to 56.6.
During the period 28 March to 12 April, London’s highest PCI was 137.1, while Berlin’s PCI never went above 69.2.
Daily CoronaVirus infections
in London and Berlin between
11 March and 12 April 2020
The Per Capita Index (PCI), which is based on population size (London: 8.9 million, Berlin: 3.8 million), allows for a comparison of the daily spread of COVID-19 between the two cities
Sources: UK government; London City Hall; Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales (Berlin ministry for health and social affairs); John Hopkins University, Baltimore; City Mayors
Please note: The research used daily findings as reported by government departments. John Hopkins uses a five-day moving averages to report daily cases. There may be variations of recording methods applied by British and German authorities.
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