Covid: The countries with lower total death tolls than the UK’s highest daily rate

The UK announced a record 1,564 daily coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, eclipsing the next-highest total by 239 and bringing its total death toll up to almost 85,000.

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

Although some of these states have very 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 1,564.

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 as of Wednesday afternoon:


Although not as effective at preventing the spread of the virus as its neighbour New Zealand, Australia’s border closure and its stricture 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 28,650 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 39,011 Covid-19 cases and 602 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 2,228 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

(AFP via Getty Images)

In total, it has confirmed 141,533 coronavirus infections and 559 deaths caused by the disease.


With the necessary caveat that Nigeria has a comparatively low testing capacity, its total official death toll is 1,373, around 200 lower than the daily fatality figure announced in the UK on Wednesday.

Overall, Nigeria has detected 102,601 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 838 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 27,846 Covid-19 infections and 269 coronavirus deaths.

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