14 July, 2020

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Covid In Sri Lanka: Poor Testing Leading To Wrong Projections

A quick glance at worldwide corona virus data indicates that there is a glaring deficit in testing in Sri Lanka, statistics experts told Colombo Telegraph.

When significant testing done within a population of a country, a trend can usually be determined after a certain period of time.

This data can be useful to make key decisions such as reopening the economy, lifting lockdowns and easing social distancing regulations.

The data for India shows a steady increase in Corona cases on a daily basis. The UK graph shows a gradual decrease while the US data also shows a downward trajectory even though at a much slower pace. Every country graph shows a distinct pattern.

The following is Sri Lanka’s Covid 19 data.

A quick glimpse of the Sri Lanka graph shows no such trend.

Instead the graph shows an erratic pattern is usually a sign of a sample size. Sri Lanka has performed just over 50,000 tests, testing less than 0.2 percent of its 21 million population.

Furthermore, much of these tests are repeat testing on forces personnel and security teams linked to political VIPs.

To use a familiar graph, it would be similar to the initial ‘run rate worm’ in a cricket match where the first few overs could show an erratic pattern because the number of runs is divided by fewer overs. As the number of overs increase the rate shows greater stability.

Sri Lanka’s graph typically shows two or three days of low infection rates followed by spikes when testing is performed – for instance on Kuwaitee returnees who have formed a new large cluster of cases. Health authorities are only permitted to test forces personnel, persons in Quarantine centers, those returning from overseas and those considered to be high risk once some contact tracing is performed. There is no wider testing for COVID or COVID-19 antibodies – which is a much less expensive blood test than the swab test for the virus.

Data analysts explained to Colombo Telegraph that the testing data from Sri Lanka is worthless in terms of determining exactly how much of the population could potentially be at risk of transmission. The data also makes it impossible to make projections about the trajectory of Sri Lanka’s COVID curve.

In fact, since a Major General was appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Health, experts are fearful that testing results may be deliberately under-reported to create the impression that all is well in the country. The narrative is being carefully built to ensure elections can be held early in order to ensure the President will not be compelled to reconvene the old Parliament and enact new laws to hold elections under the pandemic situation, Colombo Telegraph learns. (By Janakie Mediwake)

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Latest comments

  • 18
    1

    I have been many time in a day in World o Meter Info recently. That is how I wrote three weeks ago a prediction of 20 countries to go above China on the total infection by the end of this month and about 30-40 by the end of the year. During this time I frequently compared the Government graph and WMI graph and noticed serious difference in the graphs. Further government’s graphs attempted to market those cured. Muslim news questioned how it happened 4 of their community died out of the 9 deaths. That is why the other day I questioned in CT how these government data base is working. Now it is no longer only a disbelieve, but professionals are saying the numbers are not bring any good out of these. I think, unless government honestly tests and honestly let the people to know the true picture, this election is going to be the poorest turn over in the island’ election history.

    • 7
      41

      Real projection is that people have already started their day today work.
      .
      Real projection is that there are no patients from community seeking medical treatment for covid 19 related issues.
      .
      Real projection is that last local hotspot already under control.
      .
      Real projection is that you don’t see hospitals overflowing.
      .
      Real projection is that you don’t see mass burial/cremation sites.
      .
      Real projection is that you don’t see overflowing morgues.
      .
      Real projection is that you don’t see refrigerator trucks storing dead bodies outside hospitals.
      .
      Real projection is that you don’t see mass transport of dead bodies.
      .
      Real projection is that we have a president with “can do” attitude.

      • 14
        5

        Mrs Pasqual the man who has been fighting to get his TRANGENDER OP done !.
        .
        Are u talking about GERMANY or SRILANKA ?

        All is right for Germany with recovery rate is nearing 95% this week… but ballige puthas led SRILANKA s flattening the curve is far from estimation. I dont see even the light at the end of the tunnel regarding this.
        :
        Let s go to a bo tree and UNTIL the roots of bo tree turn out to be rotten, we can stay overwatering… agree ?=

        • 4
          21

          Mr. leela ge …..
          .
          Good one….
          .
          Germany –
          Coronavirus Cases – 181.288
          Deaths – 8498 ( 4.7% )
          .
          SRILANKA
          Coronavirus Cases – 1,319
          Deaths – 10 ( 0.76% )
          .
          I know these calculations are beyond your IQ level.
          .
          But stay safe.

          • 2
            16

            Germany –
            Coronavirus Cases – 181,288

        • 16
          5

          LM
          “Mrs Pasqual the man who has been fighting to get his TRANGENDER OP done !”
          Such comments are gender insensitive and hurtful to people of LGBTQIA communities.

          • 1
            20

            SJ,
            .
            Don’t worry about comments from a person who lost touch with reality.

          • 9
            2

            SJ,
            Agree with you. but sometimes, as human beings we loose our temper and so pardon me. Trust me, I respect LGBT community and i dont have anyissues with them. I dont care about race and religion so long human beings respec the other. Having lived in many coutries I now feel, that our communities in my home country are even more racial that the others. Not even the Germans of the day at large would be busy with antisemites.

      • 6
        0

        S. C. Pasqual ,

        I have written somewhere questioning the cause of Thondaman’s death. If you have been reading Tamils media ( I don’t know about Sinhala media) tell please how many dead had been reported so quickly falling and dying on the road?

        If you had Zero casualty why do you want to pull out of UN if it tells to investigate the Rapist Army?

        For the Heaven’s sake Please write (at least) one statistics about the corona infection truthfully. We like to know that.

    • 12
      2

      This is what I told you guys from the begining on.
      :
      Either poor testings and lack of testing both could keep away the people from the containment of the contagious virus.
      :
      This should also be the case with RUSSIANS whose numbers of tests done sofar are championing.. while the recovery numbers are not even 50% compared to that of european nations.
      :
      From the beginning though self-congradulations went on, SRILANKENS were on hold not allowing them to go for NUMBER of tests. These were blocked by RAJAKSHE KALLIYA who then looted the state and became king of multi crimes (SEE ALLEGAIONS levelled at them during 5 years GOOD GOVERNANCE PERIOD):

      How do you judge a CRIMINAL a criminal in a place where LAW AND ORDER is burried by the mediation of RED ROBE WEARERS calling themselves budddhagama followers. No matter Rajakashe killed that THADJUDEEN – RUGBY player, none of them albeit prima facie evidence, were never interogated, but
      .
      The man who made PRICE REDUCTION to over 80 medical drugs
      – the man who banned tobacco use and made the number of smokers to a less number
      .#
      is jailed today – Dr Senaratne earned interntional prizes to have achieved higher levels in srilanken health…

      • 2
        17

        Mr. leela ge …..,
        .
        Do you see patients from community lining up for medical treatment for covid 19 related issues in SL…..?
        .
        Do you see our hospitals overflowing…..?
        .
        Do you see overflowing morgues in our country…..?
        .
        Do you see mass transport of dead bodies…..?
        .
        Do you hear people dying because of lack of ventilators…..?
        .
        Do you see our government asking patients to stay home because they don’t have enough hospital beds…..?
        .
        Do you see bodies piled up in refrigerated trucks outside hospitals…..?
        .
        Do you see bulldozers are digging mass graves at cemeteries…..?
        .
        Do you see our Mayors calling this is a “scene out of a horror movie”…..?
        .
        Do you see our People are dying at home because they got no medical care…..?
        .
        Do you see labors in cemeteries digging gashes in the earth to make mass graves for corona virus victims…..?
        .
        Do you see hearses lining up to get into cemeteries…?
        .
        Or
        Do you see our people have already started their day today work…..?
        .
        And…..
        After all…..
        Will you be happy if our president is “Jair Bolsonaro”

    • 1
      0

      Those who are interested in new numbers.
      .
      please check it below (number of infected/number of death sofar/ number of PCR tests)
      ————-
      Kenya
      1,745 62 74,003
      Kyrgyzstan
      1,722 16 109,521
      Mayotte
      1,699 21 5,200
      Lithuania
      1,670 70 299,428
      Maldives
      1,633 5 11,775
      Haiti
      1,584 35 4,106
      Sri Lanka
      1,563 10 62,208
      Slovakia
      1,521 28 170,995
      New Zealand
      1,504 22 278,872
      Slovenia
      1,473 108 79,897
      Nepal
      1,401 6 173,784
      Venezuela
      1,370 14 961,899
      Equatorial Guinea
      1,306 12 854
      Guinea-Bissau
      1,256 8 1,500
      Mali
      1,250 76 3,483
      Lebanon
      1,191 26 82,076
      Albania
      1,122 33 14,498
      Hong Kong
      1,083 4 202,930
      ——————
      Govt received enough funds to keep the people safe and go for more tests.
      :
      But yet today, they could do lot more tests… may be THE FUNDS received would be planned to their ELECTION campaign. Rajakashes would do anything illegal keeping SIVURU WEARERS as the front men of their parades. :
      :
      The very same PINGUTHTARAYAS stay mum as if their ORIFICES are ceased off today….
      .
      Elections would not be held even in 3 months now.

  • 22
    1

    Sri Lanka almost never had reliable data as the compilers could be corrupt. It seems apparent that most covid-19 carriers in Sri Lanka are asymptomatic, while those infected (ie suffering symptoms of the disease) have mild conditions that can pass for other flu-like afflictions, never entering the statistics. Since most people will not sight a hospital these days unless its an emergency, there are potentially many in the community that could carry the contagion. Community testing is the only way to establish present sufferers and carriers, while an antibody test may return positive for those who had it (with or without their knowledge) and have now resolved the condition. If community testing at random is conducted, the data thus obtained, have to be released to the public. However, if the results reveal many infections or carriers, then the public will revolt against having an election anytime soon. Maybe the health statisticians in charge of churning out graphs know this.

    • 2
      2

      What seems to happen, is that the spread of the virus has been largely under control and silly lapses had prevented the infection rate from settling towards zero.
      There may be things to worry about lack of caution by the authorities.
      I doubt if the last jump in numbers owing to ‘imported’ cases is a sign of a revival.
      The case for caution is, however, strong although curfews are no answer.

      • 4
        0

        The strains that hit european countries are not the same that Amies and others are busy with. So, danger is very high since not even world experts are not yet aware the truths about COVID 19. We need lot more studies on the infected over the years to draw conclusions. Some experts say, that the infected would not face recurrences while other argue that the experts cant rule out going by the little information already available.
        Answer would be improvement of awarness. Here in Europe ( I only know how it is in Switzerland and Germany) people behave consciously. They respect the guidelines. Social distancing has routinized to them now. In CLINICS, doctors are not on PPEs but at least mouth-face masks.

        • 2
          8

          making up science and numbers as you go along. Where did you learn these skills dumdum ?

          The LTTE was very good at this . I guess the UNP is getting together with their terro friends

    • 2
      8

      These pethiyagodas are not the smartest tools in the toolbox. I knew a few of them. Classmates of mine.

      like doo knobs… lol.

  • 9
    2

    Lots uda Lanka will never recover from this the man made gift given to the world by it’s prolific godfather China.
    The cursed bestowed by the nearly 7 million blind modaya voters who elected with glee clapping their dirty soiled hand’s are now withing a long time period of less than 7 months are in starvation no work to do the promised payment of 5000.00 rupee s only a huja wet dream and with the incompetent swabasha racially recruited work force are just not capable of resurectting the dead economy of the man made .

    • 6
      0

      If it is a man made gift there is no evidence so far to pin it on China, but for what (not even Trump now) Mike Pompeo keeps repeating in Goebbelsian fashion.
      If it is man-made, now the main suspect would now be the US with the biggest germ warfare resources.
      Did the Yahapalanaya boys give the people a choice?
      “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” (You can reject the idea because it is a Chinese proverb.)

  • 9
    0

    “In fact, since a Major General was appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Health, experts are fearful that testing results may be deliberately under-reported to create the impression that all is well in the country.”

    What will happen after the Elections? Will a person from the Forces be appointed as the Health Minister to continue the process?

  • 2
    3

    SJ, after burning the midnight oil in desperation I found a “I said so moment” of yours. Few days ago you wrote I believe Covid is well under control in Lanka, which was such a relief to all of us. But today reports says there was 150 new cases which SBD claims as Navy and Qatar returnees , who are not considered to be Lankan citizens any more ????

    • 0
      0

      I am thrilled to learn that my view yielded relief to souls abroad, although quite a few seemed annoyed at the prospect of the infection being under control.
      One should ask people in different parts of the country and from different walks of life to get a fair picture. Kumar David among writers and commentators has given some of the most sensible accounts.
      The curfew (as well as the way matters of public interest were conducted) was more hurting the virus. It destroyed livelihood for large numbers.
      *
      Examine the details of infection amid ‘scary’ numbers.
      There were three slips, the third a blunder involving the navy was very bad; yet there was no significant spread of the virus in the community at large, or for that matter deaths of the infected, to match the boost seen in statistics.
      The current rise is by ‘imported’ cases who have been quarantined.
      *
      “…150 new cases which SBD claims as Navy and Qatar returnees , who are not considered to be Lankan citizens any more ????”
      I wonder what the sources of “today’s reports” are?
      A far as I know the Health Department data for infections include the said categories. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • 5
    2

    In Srilanka it is not about flattening the CURVE but flattening Parliament!

    • 2
      0

      Plato

      “In Srilanka it is not about flattening the CURVE but flattening Parliament!”

      Fattening the clan’s bank balances, …. Gota’s ego, … Shavendra’s waistline, size of Kamal Gunaratne’s ministry,

  • 1
    3

    When the court case was starting Lankawe was 103 on severity list. Today it is upgraded to 96. The infection number is above 15 hundred. Comedy minister Aluthgama saying it is Qatar has bombed them with a biological bomb. He meant Lankawe workers has been sent back home. But Royals were buying and selling all kind of Chinese bombs. They freely allowed Chinese tourists to come and go.
    They always says they did Genocide of Tamils because America did it in Iraq. America is saying none of its citizens died of corona outside. But 4 Ceylonese died in Qatar alone, But sick child of Mahinda Patriotic Desapriya was retrieved safely. The rascal are telling all kinds of lies.

  • 1
    2

    These Tamil Terrorists (CT Drs )will do anything to lie and bring down Sri Lanka. So they live in countries that have been complete disasters but are unable to accept that Sri Lanka has done so much better.

    Now Sri Lanka is importing the failures from overseas.. I hope they do not import these terrorists.

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