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COVID-19 Testing in Europe – Data Additions Highlight

By Alfred Sadek

The global pandemic continues to have a crucial impact on our current political and economic policy decisions. Many analysts have voiced concerns that a second wave would emerge during the fall, which would force countries to re-introduce some of the lockdown restrictions adopted in the beginning of the pandemic. The devastating consequence of the coronavirus on public health and the economy has prompted debate regarding the best course of action in case of a second wave.


In this week’s data additions, we are highlighting the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in various European countries. The data is sourced from the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control and includes positivity rate, testing rate and number of tests done.


In the first chart, we chose a selected number of European countries that have had one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus and we are including Sweden and Denmark as a comparison. The chart shows that the UK has done more tests than the other European countries since the beginning of the pandemic.


The second chart is examining the positivity rate, in the same European countries, which is calculated by dividing confirmed cases with tests done and multiplied by 100. Many countries have seen the ratio go down greatly during the summer. This can be attributed to the increase of testing and the decrease in the coronavirus confirmed cases during the period.

In the following charts, we have plotted the number of confirmed cases as well as the number of tests done. It is clearly visible that the UK, France, Spain, and Denmark are now in the middle of a second wave of the pandemic.

Germany, Italy, and Sweden on the other hand have exhibited a slight increase yet remain much lower than before. While both Germany and Italy have taken strict lockdown measures in the beginning, Sweden chose to reject a complete mandatory lockdown guideline.

The Swedish policy has turned out to be successful in terms of containing the spread of the virus among the general public but less successful in managing the spread to the most vulnerable groups such as the sick and the elderly. This in turn affected the coronavirus death rate putting Sweden on par with other high death rate countries like the UK and France, while it was much lower for other countries like Denmark and Germany that adopted lockdown restrictions earlier.

Data Additions by Country / Region

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