Comparing COVID-19 testing activity in Europe (July 28)

Date of article: 29 July 2020


'Persons tested' vs 'Samples tested'

When comparing testing activity, it is important to realize that some countries are reporting on the amount of 'persons tested' and some countries are reporting on 'samples tested' (or simply 'labtests done'). As an indication, in countries reporting both numbers, the amount of 'samples tested'/'labtests done' is calculated by multiplying the amount of tested people by somewhere between 1.3 and 1.6.

This means that the countries reporting on 'persons tested' likely tested ~1.5 times more samples than persons. Please keep this in mind when reading the following map and charts.


Current COVID-19 testing activity in Europe

The following map shows the current COVID-19 testing activity relative to population size in Europe. Testing activity is calculated using the daily average of tests performed, over the most recent period of 7 days for which test data has been released by national authorities. Antibody tests have been excluded in this comparison.

In the above map, for some countries data on 'persons tested' is used. The countries are: Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France, Serbia and Portugal. The exact values calculated are given in the following bar chart.

The bar chart visualizes how many tests Luxembourg is performing. It really is way ahead of any other European country. As I have been monitoring these numbers for months, I can confirm that Luxembourg has been this far ahead in testing since early June. Before that (in May) Luxembourg was also performing many tests, but on a similar level as Denmark then. More info on testing activity in May 2020: https://www.newsnodes.com/article/112


Additional sources used

Although most European countries report every day on testing activity, some countries only report once a week on testing activity. At this moment in time, Newsnodes only gathers testing data by countries who report on COVID-19 testing every day, so to create the above map additional I gathered additional data. Below are some examples for traceability purposes of the above data.

Source: Point épidémiologique, Santé Publique France


Source: Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social


Source: COVID-19 Situationsberichte, RKI


Source: Veckorapport, Folkhälsomyndigheten


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