/ Worldometer data - what does it all mean?

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Obviously assuming the data is vaguely correct....

What can be drawn from all these stats, infection rates per m population,  and what look to be wildly varying mortality rates from roughly similar countries?

OK avoiding the obvious replies...it means it's all serious, dummy responses ...has anyone got any thoughts or insights into what this all might mean and how it can help?

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Duncan Bourne 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

New Scientist has an interesting article on it.

Basically-

China, South Korea, Canada etc are flattening out because they have effective testing and tracking regimes

south Korea and others have relatively young populations so there are fewer older people to get it.

Data is gathered on those cases reported. The uk only gets data from people admitted to hospital. We have no idea how many people actually have it in this country because we have no overall testing programme

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Yes, that thought occurred to me. With so much money being thrown at this now, why aren't we mass testing a la S Korea? Convert non health lab facilities to do this?

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wintertree 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

Testing is so different in different countries that detected rates are not meaningful for comparison.  

Total deaths is more useful although it has non-linear behaviour; it gets worse faster when healthcare is overwhelmed.  

Several posters have used the per-capita detected rates to infer the UK is doing well.  If you look at per-capita death rates and discount countries with small numbers (poor statistics) you don’t get such a rosy picture of the scale of the infection in the UK.

The CMO’s estimate about a week ago was 20x the cases circulating as detected.  I can only imagine that factor has grown since.

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wintertree 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

> With so much money being thrown at this now, why aren't we mass testing a la S Korea? Convert non health lab facilities to do this?

There are discussions underway on borrowing suitably trained staff to increase the testing rate.  It’s more about people than lab facilities perhaps; there are many academic and industrial staff in the life sciences with the relevant skills.  No idea why we are so much slower to do this than SK.

Hopefully next time around we’ll have an action plan to ramp up testing capability before cases start appearing, and a less “goodwill based” quarantine system.

Post edited at 08:45
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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I think you are right about the inaccuracy in detection rates.

The lack of testing here has to be a major flaw in whatever national recovery plan we are working to. OK track our success, or sadly the lack of it by the deaths,  but that cant be an accurate gauge of the controls and their effectiveness as things advance? We need some proper data.

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profitofdoom 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> south Korea and others have relatively young populations so there are fewer older people to get it....

Really? When I check I see averages for the UK 40, South Korea 42, Canada 42 (China 37)

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SenzuBean 22 Mar 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Several posters have used the per-capita detected rates to infer the UK is doing well.  If you look at per-capita death rates and discount countries with small numbers (poor statistics) you don’t get such a rosy picture of the scale of the infection in the UK.

The UK looks decidely, un-rosy: https://i.imgur.com/VPpLHn7.png (I think this is what you were valiantly trying to explain the other day, put into a graph)

Bearing in mind that Italy announced a nationwide lockdown on the 9th, and 2 weeks after that - they are a few tally marks short of 5000 dead (and still rising every day) - even if there was a national lockdown declared today, there will be 4000~ people dead come 2-ish weeks time.

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summo 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

South Korea were able to contain it quicker because they discovered many cases were part of the same religious cult. 

Cultures vary. Kissy huggy Italians and Spaniards with older relatives living at home. Cold stand offish northern Europeans who shove granny in a care home and see her once a year. 

There are many factors that will impact death rates. 

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> South Korea were able to contain it quicker because they discovered many cases were part of the same religious cult. 

> Cultures vary. Kissy huggy Italians and Spaniards with older relatives living at home. Cold stand offish northern Europeans who shove granny in a care home and see her once a year. 

> There are many factors that will impact death rates. 

Very true. And having the data should allow plans to come forward that reflect that and have the right focus.

It's more a sense of how will we ever see a potential exit strategy (their commonly used term) if we don't really know what's actually happening, where and how? 

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Duncan Bourne 22 Mar 2020
In reply to profitofdoom:

Quoted from New Scientist interview with WHO asst director Bruce Aylward

"Why has the case fatality rate been lower in South Korea than other countries?

They have a relatively young population. The population aged over 65 in South Korea is something like 14 per cent – half that of Japan, and much lower than Italy. A case fatality rate of around 1 per cent – close to what we are seeing in South Korea now – is what we see in a young population. Younger people just have a lower mortality rate.

But the case fatality rate has been creeping up over time. The thing that I would remember, even right now in South Korea, is that [the fatality rate] is still tenfold higher than seasonal flu."


Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237493-we-have-to-respect-the-coronavirus-and-learn-as-the-disease-evolves/#ixzz6HPSKN3gH

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summo 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

100% lock down is the only way to cover all transmission routes. Whilst these routes vary between countries and culture, better to just stop all options and review the pathways/ data after. 

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> 100% lock down is the only way to cover all transmission routes. Whilst these routes vary between countries and culture, better to just stop all options and review the pathways/ data after. 

Yes I see that, but if this keeps coming back again and again as they think it will, better understanding is our second best weapon behind a vaccine. 

The lockdown is coming very soon 

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summo 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

> Yes I see that, but if this keeps coming back again and again as they think it will, better understanding is our second best weapon behind a vaccine. 

A change in how we shop, socialise etc. But also work, home working will become more prevalent as there are clear economic benefits if a business can keep operating. Education too. 

> The lockdown is coming very soon 

I think the UK will sit on it until the numbers top a hundred plus next week.. then some folk will ignore it. 

Lockdown announcement should be 8am Monday, commencing after 48hrs to give folk chance to shop. All shops should have a £50 or £100 shop limit. With some night club style dye stamp used on their hands so folk don't keep going back in. 

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> South Korea were able to contain it quicker because they discovered many cases were part of the same religious cult. 

> Cultures vary. Kissy huggy Italians and Spaniards with older relatives living at home. Cold stand offish northern Europeans who shove granny in a care home and see her once a year. 

> There are many factors that will impact death rates. 

Any thoughts or idea why the German mortality rate looks a fraction  of that elsewhere? Is it as simple as better healthcare?

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wintertree 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

> Any thoughts or idea why the German mortality rate looks a fraction  of that elsewhere? Is it as simple as better healthcare?

In part it’s a higher detection rate - they’re aiming per week to test 2.5x the number tested in the UK to date, so they’re finding more milder cases.  Assuming they continue to test, trace and isolate they’ll start to break the back of the infection rates soon.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/c0755b30-69bb-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

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Wainers44 22 Mar 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> In part it’s a higher detection rate - they’re aiming per week to test 2.5x the number tested in the UK to date, so they’re finding more milder cases.  Assuming they continue to test, trace and isolate they’ll start to break the back of the infection rates soon.

So isn't that a sensible plan worth following? Focus lockdown on those infection surging areas and enforce that with the military?

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wintertree 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

> So isn't that a sensible plan worth following? Focus lockdown on those infection surging areas and enforce that with the military?

Combined with extensive testing and contract tracing.  It’s the least bad option as far as I can tell, certainly working in some East Asian nations.  We seem to be struggling to raise our testing rates; hopefully that together soon.

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wercat 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

I suppose the 5ps apply to the government here.   As well as the delay caused by private Cummings influencing strategy too much.  I think that is responsible for Europe wondering what the hell we've been up to till late last week.

Particularly in the light of 10 years of the Austerity Party - that has had a catastrophic effect on some schools so why not other aspects of civil life?  It's a shame that the Tory Party members made the worst choice

Post edited at 13:29
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The Norris 22 Mar 2020
In reply to Wainers44:

I've found Irans figures quite interesting... they seem to have linear increases rather than exponential... I guess a result of the number of tests available due to sanctions, rather than any ability to control the disease?

They were up in second until recently. 

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