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Corona statistics in Germany: Even more confusion

Caution should be used when drawing conclusions from coronavirus infections, especially at the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, based on the figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), headlines made the rounds like "New infections with the corona virus in Germany are apparently declining". Shortly afterwards, however, dubious reports followed. So has the mirror pointed out that the RKI numbers can be treated very carefully. Due to the delay of up to three working days in the notification from the health authorities to the publication at the RKI, which is permitted thanks to Section 11 of the Infection Protection Act, the RKI figures are only relatively informative at weekends (see also Corona case statistics and the German Official Board). So the above conclusion with the numbers is pretty daring.

To make matters worse, the RKI changes the basis for the stitches (until March 5, 11:00 a.m., March 17, 5:00 p.m., from March 18, 00:00 the following day) and the reporting basis (manual until March 16 and electronic, from March 17th only electronic transmission).

Even that of Berliner Morgenpost and the John Hopkins University published figures indicate a slight decline (at best, according to their numbers, the doubling would slow from every 3 days to every 6 days). But these numbers are also affected by the inaccuracy of the data, especially at the weekend. Because they too are mainly based on the publications of the state health authorities.

We checked all 16 regional authorities yesterday afternoon between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Finding the data alone is a little adventure. Some have placed the links to the data prominently and clearly on their portals or, like Lower Saxony, have even shown them on the home page – others have hidden the data rather well. Some have special corona pages for this, which can be easily queried automatically, others always pack the information in new press releases that you have to visit every time.

On the Website of the Baden-Württemberg State Health Office for example, there is more to head lice than to current corona numbers (you can find this in the country's press releases). Baden-Württemberg was also the bottom of the list when it comes to electronic data transmission, in the country everything is a bit slower. But at least there was an update of the numbers at around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. In Bavaria it was already 10:00 on Sunday, in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania even on Saturday at 15:00.

If you look at the RKI and Mopo / Hopkins numbers on March 22nd at 0:00, they differ only slightly in most countries, but in almost two by two: North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland. Especially in Germany's most affected country, the figures are 3545 (RKI) to 6849 (Mopo) a good four days behind (compared to the Mopo value of 3375 on March 18, 00:00), which causes a large difference in the number of cases.

In Baden-Wuerttemberg, there is currently only a daily increase of 12 percent from one appointment to the next, which corresponds to the doubling mentioned every 6 days. With only 9 percent growth, North Rhine-Westphalia is even better on the second day in a row, where the doubling from every 3 days to every 8 days would have slowed down. Unfortunately, even with these figures from the state authorities, delays in reporting from the individual district health offices can falsify the result.

So what you absolutely need to be able to assess the effect of all new "rules" for increased social distancing are current and reliable values ​​and not a patchwork of data.


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