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Calculating the economic cost of COVID-19 infection

It has been a few months since the world witnesses an unprecedented global health crisis. What started as an outbreak in China, has now spread to over 200 countries, with the number of new cases and deaths in many places are still growing exponentially. A third of the world population is under lockdown. All the while, a second crisis, in the form of an economic recession, is underway.

In order to introduce the right response (as well as recovery) measure, it is important for a country to understand the impact of COVID-19 to its economy. Correlating economic and epidemiological data will certainly help. But can both data be seamlessly integrated in one system with various parameters and variables combined? One geospatial company found the solution, and what’s better, it comes with a map visualization.

CleverMaps COVID-19 economic effects dashboard

CleverMaps, a spatial data analytics company based in Czech Republic, has created a global dashboard displaying the number of COVID-19 cases in every country, along with the expected impact on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and other economic aspects.

For a virus as resilient and contagious as the COVID-19, it is necessary to monitor not only infected and death rates, but also recovery, and more importantly its development in time and space.

The dashboard provides a sophisticated view on the evolution of the pandemic, both global view and country-specific, allowing interactive selection of different views by users, but with a major value-addition of connection with economic data. Among others, users can view the evolution of contagion over time, including areas where it is already declining, with data of lost GDP displayed in the same view.

The economic cost of infected individuals

One of the unique features of the dashboard is the attempt at estimating the economic costs of the disease. The filters allow users to see the number of people an infected person takes out of the economy (this can be people who care for the patient, preventively self-isolate, are forced into isolation by government quarantines, etc.) and how long they will be off work.

The standard economic output of an economy was measured by its GDP via World Bank data. The system then calculate how much of standard per capita GDP these people will “fail to produce”. Naturally, many of the isolated people can still work. Similarly, not all people in isolation will be taken out of the productive part of the economy (e.g. pensioners), but though they might not be producers, they still would have been consumers.

The total sum of the lost GDP is displayed by subtracting the output of the filter-specified number of people (per infected person) for the filter-specified period. There is also an option to show the percentage of GDP lost should the infected individuals (or others that replace the cured ones) stay from work for the whole year.

Global GDP effect by people ever infected

The dashboard is updated every 24 hours, using data from John Hopkins University and Worldometers.