Isn’t this interesting

Of course, the Mail, talking about health care, but still:

Iceland has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random and found that half of people have the disease without realising.

They also discovered that 1,600 people have been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. Of these cases, there were only seven deaths, indicating a fatality rate of just 0.004 per cent, which is significantly lower than other countries, including the UK.

Not sure we should even trust the Mail’s maths but again, still, interesting, no?

30 thoughts on “Isn’t this interesting”

  1. 7/1600 = 0.004375 ~ 0.4%.

    Perhaps, in the spirit of peace in these troubled times, the Mail asked the Guardian to do the sums.

  2. (0.004/100)x1600 = 0.004×16 = 0.064 < 7. Wrong by just the two orders of magnitude then.

    That's the sort of shite I expect from the Guardian.

  3. I think it’s 0.4%, so they missed by a factor of 100. This may be very misleading, however – if 1,600 tested positive some of them may have just contracted the disease and if they perish in a week the 0.4% is wrong. We need to know how many of the 1,600 are in the clear to get a useful rate. What is interesting though is that if they are testing people who haven’t shown symptoms (i.e., at random) it’ll provide the most useful mortality info to date.

    It’s always true that you have to really know how a statistical measure was developed to know if it’s reliable.

  4. But it doesn’t take a calculator, does it? 1600 infected. 7 died. Call it 8 for convenience. Therefore 1 in 200 or a half of 1%, ballpark. Which is about the accuracy you need to understand what’s going on. (Both the 1600 & the 7 numbers may be unreliable) If you can’t hit the right order of magnitude you’re functionally innumerate & shouldn’t be let loose on newspaper articles.

  5. The Mail’s version of the report is misleading (gosh). The report says that half of those infected with the virus don’t show symptoms but only ~1% of the sample had been infected. The Mail’s re-rendering, while literally correct, leads the unwary to think that half of the 10% sample (and hence, ~half the entire population) were/had been infected but were symptomless.

  6. Corresponds quite closely to that study in Germany released last week, they estimated a CFR of 0.37

    The more you test (and test at random, not those attending hospital with respiratory issues), the more of the ‘hidden’ set of people who have it or had it with either extremely mild symptoms or none at all. Purely anecdotally, my teenage niece had these symptoms for a few days, and two work colleagues in my team (6 people) had family members with the same.

    Still, a widespread CFR of 0.4 on top of the standard winter “flu season” would still have been a significant problem.

    If this really is the true CFR, selling that to the public, in the face of a hostile partisan media, will be quite difficult.

  7. It’s not so much interesting as an indicator that govt policy has gone totally uranokolpian (©).

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    Without knowing the rate of false positive and negatives and applying some Bayes probability it could be misleading.

  9. Google – not yet. TMB, after the spider calls, it will be a unique entry 🙂

    The Iceland article, 50% of positives not having symptoms – that story is at least a week out of date. We were talking about that on here quite a while back.

  10. “Iceland has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random”

    Population of Iceland 364,000, x0.1 = 36,400.

    “and found that half of people have the disease without realising.”

    so 18,000

    “They also discovered that 1,600 people have been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. Of these cases, there were only seven deaths,”

    So 7 in 1600 or 7 in 18,000?

  11. @djc

    7 in 1600. The Mail article is misleading – see my earlier comment or the original report from which the Mail garbled its account.

  12. Fixed the headline. You’re welcome, DM.

    Iceland, with an average house price of about £300,000, has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random and found HALF of people have the disease without realising – with only seven deaths in 1,600 cases

  13. Am I going mad or was there a post here earlier today about COVID-19 disproportionately affecting the BAME “communities”.

  14. The Meissen Bison

    Simon A – Anokolpian would have done just as well I suppose though less poetic. Pertaining to upwards (rather than skywards) breasts. John McD is not the name that immediately springs to mind when thinking of “clefts” among his erstwhile front bench colleagues though whether heavenly or just heavy must be a matter for individual taste.

    PF – Thanks. Good to know that that’s how the language evolves nowadays 🙂

  15. Thanks, dearieme. But I meant an actual post by Tim. Pretty certain I not only saw it but commented on it.

  16. @David Anthony 7 out of half of the population. There have been a total of 7 deaths in Iceland. If half of the population is infected, then that is the rate.

  17. I must be being thick…

    Iceland has a population of ~345,000.
    They’ve tested 10% – ~34,500
    Half the people (tested) have had the disease – ~17,000 have had it
    But then “They also discovered that 1,600 people have been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak”.


  18. BC

    It’s not “half of the population is infected.” It doesn’t say that.

    “half of people have the disease without realising.” Not “half of the population”. It means: “of the people who are infected, half do not realise that they are infected”, ie their asymptomatic rate is 50% of the total infected. There was a study in China (..) that suggested that the rate might be 80%, ie 4 out of 5 of those infected were asymptomatic. Though a much smaller sample.

    It’s clearly material whatever. Along with a) those who were infected, had “some” symptoms, but didn’t necessarily attribute them to China Virus at the time, and b) those who were infected with symptoms, might have attributed them to China Virus, but were not tested (because hardly any were in the UK, unless you ended up in hospital), the evidence is increasingly pointing towards higher infection rates / lower mortality, however you look at it.

  19. Its interesting to see how the deaths/million rate varies by country, even with NY at 500 deaths/m only bring the US up to 65 as a whole showing how focus on a hotspot can be misleadingly

  20. Thanks to those who pointed out that:

    “Iceland has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random and found that half of people have the disease without realising.”

    doesn’t mean what I thought it did. What an awful use of grammar.

  21. The actual death rate will be lower than 0.4%.

    There’s people who never get it. There’s people who got it and lost it so fast they don’t test positive. We’ll get better at saving people with experience too.

    I guessed at the start that it would turn out to be 0.1%, but I’m thinking now more like 0.2%.

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    Again, the final death rate really isn’t the biggest issue it was always the rate of those deaths. 200k deaths over the year, very sad for a lot of people. 200k deaths in 6 weeks is a really serious problem.

  23. @BiS

    +1 That’s how I guesstimate

    1/200 – 0.5% has been pretty consistent since Jan/Feb


    It’s not ‘on top of flu’, mostly same peeps dying

    Office for National Statistics weekly death charts
    If you add up the total deaths for the first quarter of the year from respiratory diseases, the figure so far for 2020 (22,877) is less than those for 2013 (25,495), 2015 (28,969), 2017 (25,800), 2018 (29,898) and 2019 (23,336)

    Fauci discusses how China’s disinformation increased coronavirus spread

    Try this in UK and 50 cops will turn up and arrest you with BBC etc cheering cops – how sad and demoralising
    American Legion lines highway with American flags to boost morale amid pandemic

    I hope Trump sees this and reacts
    Police fine churchgoers at drive-in service ahead of Easter

    DOJ on it

  24. Aus: Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says “it’s far too early” for social distancing restrictions to be eased despite the downward trend of COVID-19 cases in Australia.
    Thirty-three cases of coronavirus were confirmed overnight, bringing the national total to 6,322 cases

    Aus: Government restrictions ‘will last for at least six months’: we must wait for vaccine
    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the government has not “accepted the approach of letting the virus spread to create so called herd immunity” because such a method will come with “an unacceptable level of loss of life”

    Believe the ‘experts’ Where have I heard that before? This is a joke
    I hope politicians will be dragged from their homes and lynched in less than 3 months

    1.6 million people around the world die from TB every year it’s highly contagious don’t see social distancing or the collapse of country’s economy for that

    Situation update worldwide, as of 12 April 2020
    1,734,913 cases of COVID-19 108,192 deaths

    UK All Cause Annual Deaths: ~615,000
    Global All Cause Annual Deaths: ~58 Million (58,000,000)

    Cumou’s Hysteria & attacks on Trump were OTT
    New York has recorded its third straight day of a decline in the number of coronavirus deaths with 758 lives lost in the past 24 hours

    Spain COVID-19 cases reach new low

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *