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Background: The world has endured a high burden of mortality and morbidity due to Covid-19 over the last year. There may be factors that account for differences in mortality rates. The Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries share similar cultural identities, socioeconomic conditions, population structure and display similar health-status composition of their population. There is a demand for data on the differentials of the COVID-19 pandemic across all countries. This statistical analysis primarily compared the crude mortality rates, and estimates the relative risk of COVID-19 death rates across the GCC countries using longitudinal study design.
Methods: This statistical analysis used downloaded data from Our World in Data, which was last updated on November 19, 2020. We computed COVID-19 crude mortality rates for the GCC countries individually. We estimated COVID-19 death rates for the GCC countries and compared them to the reference largest country Saudi Arabia. To adjust for most relevant confounding factors for COVID-19 deaths, a Poisson mixed effect regression model was fitted with COVID-19 new cases and the number test per case as fixed effect predictors of COVID-19 deaths.
Results: The estimated relative risk of COVID-19 deaths rates for UAE and Qatar was 0.352 (95% CI: 0.220-0.564, p-value <0.001) and 0.467 (95% CI: 0.287-0.762, p-value = 0.002), respectively, showing 64.8% and 53.3% fewer COVID-19 death rates compared to Saudi Arabia, individually. No statistically significant difference was found between Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman as compared with Saudi Arabia.
Conclusion: The UAE has the lowest COVID-19 death rate among any other GCC countries, followed by Qatar. In addition, the number of tests per case were negatively associated with the number of Covid-19 deaths. Besides, the number of new COCID-19 infections relative to the number of patients correlates with the number of patient deaths.
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