Wed | May 27, 2020

Does the number of COVID-19 cases reflect the facts?

Published:Monday | March 30, 2020 | 12:09 AM


THERE WAS an optimistic report in the Miami Herald of last week about the number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica compared to other countries. The low reported cases would be reassuring, given the global stretch of the disease.

However, some have suggested that the optimism could be as a result of a delusionary contentment based on the absence of facts. They have claimed that if people are not tested, a low positive result would also be the result. Or, that people can easily be positive carriers without having the signs, and therefore escape the report of being among the positive cases.

However, if that is true, it would also be true of any country, since people of any given country can be infected without being tested or showing signs of having the disease.

Except that we’re going to be bias towards a specific country for having a higher likelihood for infection without being tested. But any reasonable assumption like that would be better based on the fact of less testing facilities and the unwillingness of people to be tested. Without that, it could be a little unfair to offhandedly assume that more COVID-19 cases exist than reported.