Data sources for covid-19.php

This web page gives the sources of the databases used to generate the charts at the interactive webpage: https://www.iancampbell.co.uk/covid-19.php.


UK comparisons

Data for UK regional and local authority comparisons comes from the UK Government website [1].

At the start of the epidemic, information on the location of cases was given on all new cases, but the proportion of cases where location is published has now [6 June] fallen to 25%, because 75% of cases are diagnosed by the privatised testing sector. Read more.

Scottish health boards

Data comes from the Scottish government website [2].

"Up until 14 June, the figures only include data from NHS Scotland laboratories. From 15 June the figures also include people tested through the UK Government's testing programme including drive through, mobile testing units and home tests. The increase on 15 June is due to the addition of all the UKG data on that day." This explanation is taken from the daily spreadsheet [3].

International comparisons

Data for country comparisons comes from the Johns Hopkins Hospital website:
  • the daily updates [4],
  • the spreadsheet of deaths [5], and
  • the spreadsheet of cases [6].

Data editing
The epidemics have put enormous strain on medical and public health resources, so it is surprising that the databases contain some missing values - i.e. there are some instances where the total for one day is identical to that for the following day, even though there are significant numbers of cases daily. It is clear that the updated figures have somehow not reached the database through delays of some kind. Such missing values have been dealt with by interpolation. This affects a very small proportion of the database values - about 20 values in total, and does not affect any conclusion from international comparisons.

China update
China announced on 16 April 2020 a revision of the number of deaths in Wuhan amounting to an increase of 1290 deaths [7], and an increase in total deaths in China from 3346 to 4636 - i.e. by a factor of 1.3855. This was dealt with by scaling up the numbers of deaths prior to 16 April 2020 by a factor of 1.3855. This does not appreciably affect any conclusion from international comparisons since the differences between countries are so large.

UK update
On 29 April 2020, the UK Government announced an updated measure of deaths from covid-19 which would include some deaths in the community which had previously not been recorded for England [1]. This meant that an extra 3654 deaths were now included in the total. This was dealt with by scaling up the number of deaths prior to 29 April 2020 by a factor of 1.1686.

Spain
Figures collected by the Johns Hopkins University for deaths in Spain have shown some discontinuities; the worst one is that zero deaths were shown for 11 consecutive days from 8 June, followed by 179 deaths on 19 June. This was dealt with be replacement of the Johns Hopkins figures with figures from the website Worldometer [8]. This gives a Spanish Government website [9] as the source of the figures.


References

[1]Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
[2]Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-data-for-scotland/
[3]https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2020/04/coronavirus-covid-19-trends-in-daily-data/documents/covid-19-data-by-nhs-board/covid-19-data-by-nhs-board/govscot%3Adocument/COVID-19%2Bdata%2Bby%2BNHS%2BBoard%2B29%2BJune%2B2020.xlsx?forceDownload=true
[4]Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
[5]John Hopkins Hospital spreadsheet of deaths https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/blob/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series/time_series_covid19_deaths_global.csv
[6]John Hopkins Hospital spreadsheet of cases https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/blob/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series/time_series_covid19_confirmed_global.csv
[7]Reuters (17 Apr 2020) China says nearly 1,300 virus deaths not counted in Wuhan, cites early lapses https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-toll/china-says-nearly-1300-virus-deaths-not-counted-in-wuhan-cites-early-lapses-idUSKBN21Z052
[8]https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/spain/ accessed 27 June 2020

[9]https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Actualizacion_148_COVID-19.pdf


First published: 27 Mar 2020
Last updated: 21 Jul 2020