Get Ready for Covid Numbers to Increase

The last time there was news about the number of covid-19 tests being performed in Guatemala it was up to 1600 per day. Today's news is that testing is being increased with a goal of 5000/day very soon. This message is to help you think about this before "the panic sets in".

A very small percentage of the population has been tested. I don't have the number but if it was 1000/day for the last 100 days on average, that's 100,000. The population of Guatemala is about 18,000,000. If my guess is close that is 5%. Even if it wasn't close, it is way too small that we are "running out" of people to test.

If recent testing is around 2000/day and the average number of positives is 500/day (rough guesses) that would mean 25% of the Guatemalans test positive. (It is likely tests are given to people suspected of being positive so the level in general is probably quite a bit lower.) If the number of tests given per day is increased 2.5 times using the same selection criteria, the number of positives would be expected to increase to 1250/day. That doesn't indicate an increased infection rate -- just that more data is being collected.

An honest media should report it this way. That is, just show the percentage of people who test positive as the significant statistic. Will they? Not likely. In the US the media reported an increase in covid-19 cases as an absolute number rather than a percentage of those tested.

Anyway, time will tell. Just don't panic.