Why is the Coronavirus Infection Rate so Different Around The World?

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

But before I start, I want to give you some background. My Data Analytics Study on the Coronavirus Pandemic is in its 15th day today and I have chosen 30 countries for this study. These countries have been chosen not just because these are the countries with the highest number of cases, but also because they comprise the most populated nations on earth – that is why Bangladesh, Nigeria and Vietnam are part of the study.

The Table with COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV) data from the chosen 30 countries comprises 653,922 Coronavirus cases (up 7.6% from 607,883 yesterday), which is 90.3% of the 724,278 cases (up 7.8% from 672,086 yesterday) reported worldwide at 9:00 am UTC today, and is therefore more than a good reference sample.

The Philippines has reported that 46.81% of the people tested for Coronavirus 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.

Ignoring Egypt and Nigeria (as testing data from these 2 countries is not reliable), Mexico, the Netherlands, Italy, and Indonesia have all shown over 20% infection rate. Austria is close, at 19.29%. Does this mean that these 6 countries (the Philippines, Mexico, the Netherlands, Italy, Indonesia, and Austria) are testing only those people who are showing severe symptoms for the disease? If this is the case, are countries at the bottom of the table (Vietnam, Russia, Australia, South Korea, Bangladesh, China, and India) wasting precious resources on testing the wrong people? Shouldn’t all countries follow the same testing protocols as those 6 countries?

Overall, the 30 countries in the study have an “INFECTION RATE” (how many of those tested have tested positive) of 9.02%. This means that more than 1 in 11 people who have been tested, have tested positive.

The Top 10 countries (Philippines, Egypt, Mexico, Netherlands, Italy, Nigeria, Indonesia, Austria, France, and Belgium) have an average infection rate of 21.06%. This means that almost 1 in 5 people who have been tested, have tested positive.

The Middle 10 countries (Iran, USA, UK, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Sweden) have an average infection rate of 14.84%. This means that almost than 1 in 7 people who have been tested, have tested positive.

But what’s most surprising is the Bottom 10 countries (Vietnam, Russia, Australia, South Korea, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Thailand), who have an average infection rate of only 2.71%. This means that just 1 in 37 people who have been tested, have tested positive. If we exclude Japan, Brazil, and Thailand, the infection rate further comes down to 2.58% (1 in 39) for the Bottom 7 countries.

Is the disease less prevalent in Asia, as 7 of the Bottom 10 countries are in Asia? But how does that explain very low infection rates in Russia, Australia and Brazil, and high infection rates in Philippines and Indonesia?

Similarly, there cannot be a continental conclusion for Europe, as the infection rate ranges from a low of 0.58% in Russia and 9.61% in Sweden, to a high of 23.21% in the Netherlands and 22.74% in Italy.

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