September 10, 2020

Fathom’s Chart of the Day 09.09.2020: COVID cases rise but testing capacity changes cloud comparisons

by Fathom Consulting.

The number of official confirmed COVID cases is rising in Europe and in other countries around the world, such as India. This is a concern for authorities, but drawing inferences from a time series of officially confirmed case data (such as the one in our chart) without considering changes to testing capacity may be problematic. The number of tests being conducted on a daily basis has increased significantly in all of the countries in this chart, while the true number of cases was being significantly underreported earlier this year. In the UK, for example, more than ten times the number of tests are being done each day now than were being done in the first weeks of April. Around seven times as many tests are being done on a daily basis in Spain now, than were being done in April. Scaling the above data by some number related to changes in testing capacity would result in more comparable results over time — the bottom line is that while that the true case numbers appear to be on the rise in Europe, they are still nowhere near as high as they were back at the peak back in early April.

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This chart is taken from Fathom’s Recovery Watch newsletter. Click here to subscribe to Recovery Watch.

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