Why Are Coronavirus Test RESULTS so Different Around The World?

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Just look at the data in the Table. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Before I go on, let me establish the fact that the Table with data from 30 countries comprises a total of 446,916 Coronavirus cases, which is 90.8% of the 492,443 cases reported worldwide until a few minutes ago, and is therefore more than a good reference sample.

The Philippines has reported that almost a third of the people tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 / 2019-nCoV) have shown a positive result. This data cannot be wrong as it has been taken directly from the nCoV Tracker Dashboard of Philippines’ Department of Health.

The next 14 countries (Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Switzerland, Mexico, Pakistan, Iran, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and USA) have reported an average of 17.35% positive cases – that’s almost one out of six people who have been tested in these 14 countries.

The next 5 countries (Sweden, UK, Malaysia, Thailand, and Turkey) have reported an average of 9.83% positive cases, or almost one in ten people.

How then can the numbers be so low in Russia (0.44%), Vietnam (0.50%), Australia (1.56%), Bangladesh (2.51%), South Korea (2.53%), India (2.86%), and China (3.0%)? The possible explanations for 5 of these 7 countries could be as follows:

  • Russia, Vietnam and China are under-reporting data – after all, democracy and citizens rights are not necessarily the best in these 2 countries.
  • India and Bangladesh have only tested urban populations, and that too those who live above poverty line – thus, the data does not tell a national picture. But then, how is Pakistan any different, or for that matter Nigeria or Mexico?

But how does one explain the low numbers in Australia and South Korea? I am baffled.

I am equally baffled by the strangely high numbers in The Philippines, Indonesia, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Austria, France, and Belgium? Does testing for an other disease yield such high positive results?

In my next post, I am going to deal with data relating to deaths.

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