Template talk:COVID-19 testing by country

Active discussions

Current active cases per capita and total deaths per capitaEdit

Current active cases per capita and total deaths per capita would indicate how "effective" the countries are regarding the pandemics. I understand this has "nothing" to do with testing but still... Or perhaps another template can be made? It could be used in other articles as well. For example, 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic deaths shows sortable absolute numbers but not very useful (cf. Belgium and Germany). Something like: Positive; positive per million; deaths; deaths per million; Active cases; Active cases per million. It could even do without the absolute numbers. What do you think? Thanks, WikiHannibal (talk) 10:11, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Absolutely agree and I think the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic data could be the place to go. It makes sense contextually as it would provide more information regarding the pandemic overall in various ways, rather than being specific to deaths or testing only. The testing template is becoming cluttered already anyway. Smith558 (talk) 13:33, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the template you suggest has a long-standing consensus which can be summarised as "No more columns."; see Template talk:2019–20 coronavirus pandemic data. That is why I commented here. BTW There is a related but outdated template, Template:2019–20 coronavirus pandemic data/Case fatality rate, but it is written in such a way that it would be hard to update and maintain. WikiHannibal (talk) 08:32, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
  • I like "No more columns." - current template already out of space. Even two "units" columns are useless for user (all that units can be replaced by one remark at the end of table).-- (talk) 06:20, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
How would you phrase that "remark" when there are two or three possibilities for the specific countries in each column (cases/samples/not reported)? At present, each country would need a footnote regarding the number of tests. Reagrding the number of positive cases, countries that do not report cases/samples would need a footnote. (I suppose that most of them do report but no editor has checked those countries sources so far.) WikiHannibal (talk) 10:12, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Look at old UK's comment about cases and samples different. Thats can be used for all countires as one. I'm surprised that the US still doesn't have a unit here - these are samples, I'm 100 percent sure.-- (talk) 20:42, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by "old UK's comment about cases and samples different". I found only "In the UK testing statistics there is a distinction between the number of people tested and the number of tests performed.", which means the UK reports both the number of "samples" and "people" tested. How would that help for the other countries who do not report like that? If you want the article to improve, please quote the comment you mean here. Thanks. WikiHannibal (talk) 08:29, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
  • That's it. Same comment can be added under all countries and test stats. Like: "Testing methods differ between countries. Somewhere tests are performed once per person, somewhere several times."-- (talk) 13:08, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
At present, the table indicates which countries report what, so that reader can make more valid comparisons; your comment would undermine that; by obscuring info it would not improve the article. Your "somewhere" would warrant the [where?] tag. So, no. WikiHannibal (talk) 08:02, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
The table now show positive cases for all countries (hopefully accoring to the source cited) except Belarus, which says persons (and that seems the same). The appropriate "Units" column can be removed, and an explaantory note added to the "Positive" column. WikiHannibal (talk) 10:34, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
  Done — UnladenSwallow (talk) 18:44, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
I have spent two weeks filling in these units, and I assure you that all values in the "Confirmed (cases)" column correspond to the numbers of confirmed cases reported by the countries. Some countries do report confirmed (positive) samples, but only in addition to confirmed cases. I have added what I'm calling "source labels" to each value (which look like this: <!-- = the label used in the source [the # of the reference if there are multiple references] -->) to give a hint to other editors which number in the source they should use.
Regarding the "Units" column which lists units for the "Tested" column, I'm not 100% sure that I've got everything right (although I've put great effort into it, reading multiple pages for each country via Google Translate to understand the context), so I will be grateful if other editors double-check my work. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 23:13, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
Some people might wonder why it makes sense to report confirmed cases as a percentage of tested samples. Is there a difference between the number of "confirmed cases" and the number of "confirmed samples"? If not, why is it useful to label that column "Confirmed (cases)"? — Swood100 (talk) 15:03, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Hi, yes there is a difference. +Also the table enables the reader to compare/interpret the percentage in relation to whether the countries report testes samples or tested cases. +My thanks to UnladenSwallow. WikiHannibal (talk) 07:49, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
What is the difference between confirmed cases and confirmed samples? Is it that confirmed samples can be greater if a confirmed case is tested again? Does that happen enough to make the numbers significantly different? — Swood100 (talk) 15:37, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Yes, and yes. WikiHannibal (talk) 12:10, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

For the record: Africa CDC dashboard data quality problems. Country with more cases than tests; countries with increasing number of cases without any new tests reportedEdit

FYI: Africa CDC dashboard (popup for Somalia) shows on 2020-04-30 the following data for Somalia:

  • Country Somalia
  • Region Eastern
  • Cases 582
  • Deaths 28
  • Recoveries 20
  • Tests 390
  • CFR 4.81
  • Epidemic Phase 2
  • Cases_100k 3.66
  • Deaths_100k 0.18
  • 2020_Population 15,893,222
  • Date 30 Apr 2020

Just wanted to share this as an extreme example. Expecting this error to be corrected via newer updates. Although they collect valuable data, values listed by Africa CDC, collected via its regional offices and national authorities and updated daily on Africa CDC dashboard, cannot always be used as reliable source for an article. Typically I try to verify at least the case number from local sources (authorities, news media). --Paju~enwiki (talk) 10:08, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

Another limitation with Africa CDC dashboard figures seems to be that the number of tests (samples) reported is not always updated when new (higher) number of cases is given for a country. Just noted e.g. that ACDC reported 1362 COVID-19 cases for Ivory Coast (2020-05-02; and 1398 on 2020-05-03, both available via tweets reported on http://www.gouv.ci/Main.php), but the reported number of tests by the Africa CDC dashboard (2020-05-02) had not changed since 2020-04-26. Thus the testing numbers for Ivory Coast cannot be yet updated based on ACDC dashboard. The quality control of Africa CDC dashboard values needs a fix.--Paju~enwiki (talk) 21:01, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
E.g. Tanzania data, i.e. popup of on Africa CDC dashboard, has been faulty during recent days, as the number of tests has not been updated. One should not report new, higher case number (here) based on Africa CDC dashboard without new, higher number of tests (samples). Due to this (unchanged number of tests but higher number of cases on ACDC dashboard), I have reverted the May 9 value for Tanzania. --Paju~enwiki (talk) 21:18, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

There are five countries that currently report their testing numbers through Africa CDC only: Cameroon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sudan and Tanzania.

The Africa CDC dashboard has the following problems:

  1. "Date" values in country pop-ups are incremented every day, even if no updates to the data have been made, which renders these values completely useless.
  2. "Cases" and "Tests" values are updated with a delay of one to several days.
  3. "Cases" values are updated more often than "Tests" values.

To work around these problems, the following algorithm can be used:

  1. Check the Africa CDC data for the five countries every day.
  2. If the "Tests" value reported for a country increases, copy it and the "Cases" value to the table.
  3. Search other sources (government websites, government social media accounts, local news outlets) to find a date on which the authorities reported the number of cases equal to the "Cases" value—that's the date you should input into the Date column.

I have added comments explaining this procedure to the relevant countries. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 21:39, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

It is possible to confirm cases without testing. For example, in Canada/Quebec the number of confirmed cases is 39,931 but the number of people who have tested positive is only 34,959. The difference between the two are cases confirmed by 'epidemiological link'. Perhaps something similar is happening here. –Wikkiwonkk (talk) 06:18, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

@Wikkiwonkk: Please check your facts, and give supporting sources. Avoid forwarding false claims. Official coronavirus web page of Quebec clearly does not support your claims. In French: "Situation au Québec en date du 13 mai 2020, 13 h 15. Total de cas confirmés = 39 931. Total de cas négatifs = 261 569". That is, Quebec reported on 2020-05-13 number of 39 931 positive cases out of 301 492 cases (total tested = 39 931 positive + 261 561 negative cases). Source: https://www.quebec.ca/sante/problemes-de-sante/a-z/coronavirus-2019/. Cheers, --Paju~enwiki (talk) 15:00, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Section 4 of this page https://www.inspq.qc.ca/covid-19/donnees explains it in more detail, and hovering over a point on the chart will show the number of persons that have tested negative, positive, and the total. As explained in the little blurb above the chart, the number of persons who have tested positive is less than the number of confirmed cases (which is at the very top of the page and in section 1). –Wikkiwonkk (talk) 06:30, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

US uses samples as unit, not cases. Why you don't add it?Edit

CDC source quote: "Number of specimens tested"... "sample collection"... etc-- (talk) 10:15, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

  Done — UnladenSwallow (talk) 22:04, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Nope, USA still doesn't have "samples" as unit in the table-- (talk) 04:10, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

PUI (patients under investigation) reported by ThailandEdit

Currently for Thailand the official number of People Under Investigation (PUI), i.e. Patients with Suspected Symptoms of COVID-19 has been used as "cases" in our template. For example 2020-05-07 situation (pdf) has been used as reference, and 2020-05-09 situation (pdf) is also available. Thus, if we accept this PUI as "cases", one could find a bit up-to-date value via this web page by Department of Disease Control (DDC Thailand) of the Royal Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). --Paju~enwiki (talk) 12:43, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Positive cases: just from PRC tests or positive serological (antibody) tests as well?Edit

For example Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) produces statistical COVID-19 data of Spain which includes both PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tested and positive serological (antibody) tested cases. Number of antibody tests has increased in Spain during last month and currently (in May 2020) seems to be equal or larger than the daily number of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. On 2020-05-07, the cumulative number of PCR tested positive cases was 222,857 and the number of COVID-19 positive with antibody tests (37,260) included was 260,117 (pages 1, 4 & 5 of ref1). On 2020-05-11 the similar values were 227,436 (positive PCR tested), 40,707 (positive antibody tests) and 268,143 (sum value; ref 2). It is suggested that we should not report just PCR positive COVID-19 cases (as seems to be the case for Spain, stating date 2020-05-07), but also those persons with positive antibody tests. Any comments? --Paju~enwiki (talk) 18:11, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Hi, regarding Spain, info explaining the different testing methods should be first dealt with in COVID-19 pandemic in Spain; cf. Template:COVID-19 pandemic data/Spain medical cases chart, where from 16 to 28 April, "Active cases", Serology-confirmed cases, and Active PCR-confirmed cases are reported without explanation what "Active cases" mean. Regarding other coutries, it would be best first to check what type of tests they report in the statistics/sources, and if some countries count both types, tag them with a note and add Spain in that group. WikiHannibal (talk) 12:31, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

Hi! @Paju~enwiki:, thank you for starting this discussion! Are the serological test the same as the rapid tests? The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) appears to use only the PRC tests in its reports. I think having a centralized source or format could help with the template, but a possible solution is to add another column to differentiate PCR tests from rapid tests. Many thanks! --Jamez42 (talk) 20:13, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

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