Covid: The countries where fewer have died in total than in just 24 hours in UK

Dozens of nations have each seen fewer than 1,610 Covid-19 deaths 

Rory Sullivan
Wednesday 20 January 2021 01:21 GMT
<p>Beachgoers enjoy a summer day at Coogee Beach in Sydney</p>

Beachgoers enjoy a summer day at Coogee Beach in Sydney

The UK has announced a record 1,610 daily coronavirus deaths, eclipsing the next-highest total by 46 and bringing its total death toll up to 91,470.

The latest 24-hour figure means the UK saw more deaths in a single day on Tuesday than dozens of countries have experienced since the start of the pandemic.

Although some of these states have small populations, others — including Australia and Malaysia — do not.

Nigeria, whose population is many times greater than the UK’s, is also among the nations with fewer overall deaths than the UK’s single day total of 1,610.

Here is a list of some of these countries and their latest Covid-19 data, as recorded in the tally kept by John Hopkins University and accurate at the time of publication:


Although not as effective at preventing the spread of the virus as its neighbour New Zealand, Australia’s border closure and its strict quarantine measures mean that fewer than 1,000 people there have died from the disease.

The majority of these deaths occurred in the state of Victoria, which struggled to successfully contain the virus until late last year.

Overall, Australia has recorded 28,730 coronavirus infections.


Sweden might get most of the coronavirus headlines for its relaxed handling of the pandemic, but neighbouring Finland has coped better.

The government took the precaution of locking the country down early - though not fully - and then eased restrictions when the spread of the virus was under control.

Helsinki also had the advantage of having a stockpile of protective medical equipment prior to the pandemic.

So far, Finland has registered 40,722 Covid-19 cases and 621 deaths from the virus.

New Zealand 

Jacinda Ardern’s handling of the pandemic, which has been widely praised around the globe, helped her to a decisive election victory in October.

Out of a total of 2,262 coronavirus cases, New Zealand has recorded 25 deaths from Covid-19.


Like Finland, Malaysia was better prepared for an outbreak than many other countries.

Ying-Ru Jacqueline Lo, the World Health Organization’s representative in the country, said in October that Malaysia’s preparedness gave it a stable foundation on which to build its coronavirus response.

Pedestrians wearing facemasks walk on a street in Kuala Lumpur

In total, it has confirmed 165,371 coronavirus infections and 619 deaths caused by the disease.


With the necessary caveat that Nigeria has a comparatively low testing capacity, its total official death toll is 1,449, 161 fewer deaths than the UK’s highest daily fatality figure.

Overall, Nigeria has detected 112,004 coronavirus cases across its population of more than 200 million.

South Korea

In the early months of the coronavirus crisis, South Korea was praised for flattening the curve. This was largely the result of its government’s effective “test, trace and treat” method.  

To date, 1,185 people in the country have died from coronavirus, while there have been slightly over 70,000 cases.


Early in the pandemic, Michael Ryan, an executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, praised Taiwan for mounting “a very good public health response”.

This is still borne out in current figures, which show that 7 people have died from Covid-19 in Taiwan and 868 positive test results.


Uruguay’s handling of the pandemic is a rare success story in South America, where countries such as Brazil and Peru have seen some of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world.

The country has recorded 32,863 Covid-19 infections and 319 coronavirus deaths.

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