The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spain this Monday was 85,195, but there were more than 2,300,000 patients with symptoms compatible with the disease. This is reflected in a study led by the IMDEA Network Institute, which used public and anonymous surveys conducted on social networks to estimate the actual incidence of pandemics in twelve countries.
Manage properly Coronavirus disease, The government and the scientists who advise them need to be as realistic as possible. The problem is that these data do not exist. The only thing they have is to provide tested products in the laboratory.
In other words, the government knows how many people have tested positive, how many people are in hospitals, and how many people are receiving telephone treatment, but most experts believe that these are not real data about the pandemic.
Nowadays, scientists all over the world are designing formulas to estimate numbers that are more consistent with actual conditions.Including international teams led by researchers Antonio Fernandez Anta Graduated from high school IMDEA network.
According to their calculations, the data collected in the survey for Spain estimated that the number of people with symptoms of the disease in Spain on Monday, March 30 2.361.650This number is much higher than the 85,195 officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in my country that day.
Data comes from the project @CoronaSurveys Who formed the team to “measure the iceberg”. “This goal is completely graphical: you can see the tip of the iceberg, which is the number of confirmed cases, but below that point, what is submerged under water is the rest of the ice, the size of which is uncertain. This would destroy a ship whose true size is unknown.
Twitter’s anonymous survey
To this end, they launched the first Twitter polls. It is currently sent once a day and anyone can participate. Only three questions are asked: From which region (a country or a smaller region) can you provide data? How many people do you know in that area? Of these, how many have COVID-19 symptoms or may be related to the disease?
One of the purposes of designing information search methods is to strictly abide by the laws of information security. Data protection. Therefore, the survey is anonymous and will not collect any information that could lead to the identification of participants or patients being counted.
At the first moment, The survey It was only launched in Spain, but 11 other countries were added in the following days: Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.In addition, the form of dissemination of the survey has also been expanded. In addition to using Twitter, it is now also available in the following ways Facebook ÿ LinkedIn.
Collect results every day. In this way, the study not only provides an estimated total number of symptomatic infections per day, but also allows us to observe the development of the disease.
In order to estimate, the researcher will obtain the answers obtained in the survey through a series of conditions. First, they eliminate problems that are likely to be wrong, such as those who claim to know a thousand people and all suffer from symptoms. Then calculate the proportion of people with symptoms to the total.
Eventually, this proportion was extended to the entire population of the country. The team of researchers is working to develop more sophisticated methods to compensate for possible deviations in the data, but what has been observed is that the estimates obtained using this system so far are similar to those obtained through other indirect methods.
When it was used as a reference to provide the data for this study on March 30th, from IImperial College London Listed A report He pointed out that the new coronavirus has infected approximately 15% of Spain’s population.
This means that 7 million people in our country have been infected with COVID-19. However, current estimates by IMDEA Networks indicate that they are three times less.