The Scenario of a Pandemic Spread of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is Based on a Statistical Fallacy
2020-05-06T21:58:42Z (GMT) by
In view of the rapidly increasing numbers of reported new coronavirus infections, many speak of an upcoming pandemic. However, since the number of conducted coronavirus tests has rapidly increased over time as well, the apparent increase in infections may actually reflect increased testing, rather than a rapid spread of the coronavirus. To examine this issue, data from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and USA were analyzed. In all countries, the rapid increase in reported new infections was largely attributable to the rapid increase in conducted tests. Statistically controlling for the increased amount of testing revealed that the increases in reported infections dramatically overestimate the true increases in every country. According to the estimated true courses of new infections, the increases were initially much smaller, and the courses of new infections have already flattened or are even decreasing since the beginning of calendar week 13 (March 23) in almost all countries. The courses of reported new infections and deaths started to increase almost simultaneously in every country, which further confirms that the increases in reported new infections reflect effects of increased testing. These results indicate that the scenario of a coronavirus pandemic is based on a statistical fallacy.