Over Ten Percent Infected in worst-affected countries. Chart by Keith Rankin.
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Analysis by Keith Rankin.

This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that ten percent of the world’s population may have been infected with Covid19. While my estimates fall well short of this number for the world as a whole, they certainly show many countries with higher infection rates to date than ten percent.

The worst-infected countries are in Europe and Latin America, with the United States and the United Kingdom being well up there too.

For most countries, the estimate is calculated by multiplying the number of deaths attributed to Covid19 by 200. It means that countries – such as Netherlands – which have understated Covid19 deaths will actually have a higher percentage of the population than shown who have been infected with the SARS-Cov2 virus. France is another that has adopted conservative statistical reporting.

For other countries, dominated by more recent coronavirus exposure, the high infection estimates arise from high positivity rates arising from relatively low numbers of tests. The only African country showing in the table – Guinea – does not have many confirmed cases, but has been getting 38% positivity from the tests that have been done. It will most likely eventually come out with a lower infection rate than South Africa (9% positivity in recent tests), which I estimate as having 5.75% of its population infected.

Other countries in the chart with very high recent positivity rates (over 25%) include Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Montenegro, Guyana and Paraguay. New Zealand’s positivity rate over the two-week period covered is 0.06%.

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