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Statistics and Research

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing

We are grateful to everyone whose editorial review and expert feedback on this work helps us to continuously improve our work on the pandemic. Thank you. Here you find the acknowledgements.

Our testing dataset is updated around twice a week.
Our work belongs to everyone
Cite our testing data
Hasell, J., Mathieu, E., Beltekian, D. et al. A cross-country database of COVID-19 testing. Sci Data 7, 345 (2020)

Why is data on testing important?

No country knows the total number of people infected with COVID-19. All we know is the infection status of those who have been tested. All those who have a lab-confirmed infection are counted as confirmed cases.

This means that the counts of confirmed cases depend on how much a country actually tests. Without testing there is no data.

Testing is our window onto the pandemic and how it is spreading. Without data on who is infected by the virus we have no way of understanding the pandemic. Without this data we cannot know which countries are doing well, and which are just underreporting cases and deaths.

To interpret any data on confirmed cases we need to know how much testing for COVID-19 each country actually does.

The Our World in Data COVID-19 Testing dataset

Because testing is so very crucial to understanding the spread of the pandemic and responding appropriately we have focused our efforts on building a global dataset on COVID-19 testing. 

  • The testing dataset is updated around twice a week. The latest version is always available in the section below.
  • And as with all our work, it is freely accessible for everyone. The data can be downloaded here on GitHub.

The positive rate: A crucial metric for understanding the pandemic

Here we show the share of tests returning a positive result – known as the positive rate.

This metric offers us two key insights: firstly as a measure of how adequately countries are testing; and secondly to help us understand the spread of the virus, in conjunction with data on confirmed cases. 

The positive rate is a good metric for how adequately countries are testing because it indicates the level of testing relative to the size of the outbreak. To be able to properly monitor and control the spread of the virus, countries with more widespread outbreaks need to do more testing.

According to criteria published by WHO in May 2020, a positive rate of less than 5% is one indicator that the epidemic is under control in a country.1

Because limited testing makes it likely that many cases will be missed, the positive rate can also help our understanding of the spread of the virus. In countries with a high positive rate, the number of confirmed cases is likely to represent only a small fraction of the true number of infections. And where the positive rate is rising in a country, this can suggest the virus is actually spreading faster than the growth seen in confirmed cases.

The scale of testing compared to the scale of the outbreak

This scatter chart provides another way of seeing the extent of testing relative to the scale of the outbreak in different countries.

The chart shows the daily number of tests (vertical axis) against the daily number of new confirmed cases (horizontal axis), per million people.

Looking down the chart, we see some countries doing ten or hundred times fewer tests than other countries with a similar number of new confirmed cases.

Conversely, looking to the right, we see some countries find ten or a hundred times more cases than others out of a similar number of tests.

Where the number of confirmed cases is high relative to the extent of testing, this suggests that there may not be enough tests being carried out to properly monitor the outbreak. In such countries, the true number of infections may be far higher than the number of confirmed cases.

How many tests are performed each day?

This chart shows the number of daily tests per thousand people. Because the number of tests is often volatile from day to day, we show the figures as a seven-day rolling average.

What is counted as a test?

The number of tests does not refer to the same in each country – one difference is that some countries report the number of people tested, while others report the number of tests performed (which can be higher if the same person is tested more than once). And other countries report their testing data in a way that leaves it unclear what the test count refers to exactly.

We indicate the differences in the chart and explain them in detail in our accompanying source descriptions.

How to interact with this chart

  • By clicking on  Add country  you can show and compare the data for any country in the world you are interested in.
  • If you move both ends of the time-slider to a single point you will see a bar chart for this point in time.
  • You can switch to the ‘MAP’ tab.

In all our charts you can download the data

We want everyone to built on top of our work and therefore we always make all our data always available for download. Click on the ‘Data’-tab below the chart and you can download the shown data for all countries in a simple to use csv file.

Tests per confirmed case

Another way of looking at the extent of testing relative to the scale of the outbreak is to ask: How many tests does a country do to find one COVID-19 case?

It is simply the inverse of our data on the positive rate.

Countries that do very few tests per confirmed case are unlikely to be testing widely enough to find all cases. The WHO has suggested around 10 – 30 tests per confirmed case as a general benchmark of adequate testing.2

World map: total tests performed relative to the size of population

This map shows you how the total number of tests per thousand people compares across all countries in our dataset.

How to interact with this chart

  • By moving the time slider (below the map) you can see how testing coverage has changed over time.
  • You can focus on a particular world region using the dropdown menu to the top-right of the map.
  • Hovering over a country lets you see the exact number.

Testing vs GDP per capita

This chart plots the total number of tests performed per thousand people against GDP per capita. We see that richer countries in general have done more testing.

The differences in the extent of testing between rich and poor countries is large. While poorer countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria have done only a few tests per thousand people, richer countries like Australia, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates have done more tests than there are people in the country.

Testing and contact tracing policy

These two charts map testing and contact tracing policies over time, using data from the Coronavirus Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) produced by researchers at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

The importance of testing

Testing is our window onto the pandemic and how it is spreading. Without testing we have no way of understanding the pandemic.

It is one of our most important tools in the fight to slow and reduce the spread and impact of the virus. Tests allow us to identify infected individuals, guiding the medical treatment that they receive. It enables the isolation of those infected and the tracing and quarantining of their contacts.3 And it can help allocate medical resources and staff more efficiently.4

In addition, testing for COVID-19 also informs our understanding of the pandemic and the risks it poses in different populations.

This knowledge is important if we are to properly assess the interventions that should be implemented, including very costly interventions such as social distancing and the shutdown of entire regions and industries.

Why data on testing is needed

Without data on COVID-19 we cannot possibly understand how the pandemic is progressing.

Without data we cannot respond appropriately to the threat; neither as individuals nor as a society. Nor can we learn where countermeasures against the pandemic are working. 

The number of confirmed cases is what informs us about the development of the pandemic.

But the confirmation of a case is based on a test. The World Health Organization defines a confirmed case as “a person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection”.5

Reliable data on testing is therefore necessary to assess the reliability of the data that informs us about the spread of the pandemic: the data on cases and deaths.

Different types of tests for COVID-19

There are many technologies for COVID-19 testing, some currently available and some still in development.

Broadly, we can divide these different tests into two kinds:

  • Those that test for the presence of the virus, aiming to establish whether an individual is currently infected. The most common way of performing a test of the first type is with a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.6 Rapid antigen tests have also become commonly used in many countries, especially for the purpose of mass testing.
  • Those that test for the presence of antibodies, aiming to establish whether an individual has been infected at some point in the past.

Currently, we aim to include only PCR and antigen tests in our testing dataset, as our focus is on using testing data to help properly interpret the data we have on confirmed cases and deaths. Case confirmation is generally based on a positive result from a PCR test and/or an antigen test, so including antibody tests in our figures would mean they were less useful for this purpose.

Our checklist for COVID-19 testing data

We need to understand what the published numbers on testing mean 

Different countries publish their testing data according different definitions. In order to make meaningful comparisons between countries and over time, the figures need to be interpreted alongside an understanding of these differences.

This means that, in addition to the numbers, detailed descriptions are needed to make clear what the numbers precisely mean. For each country in our dataset, we provide source descriptions detailing all the information that we have been able to find. However, many countries currently do not provide sufficient documentation.

For citizens to trust and understand the published data, and for countries to learn from each other, it is crucial that every country provides the data on testing in a clearly documented way.

To help guide users and producers of testing data, we provide the following checklist of questions. Clear answers to these questions are what is needed to properly interpret and compare published numbers.

Our checklist of questions to understand testing data

1) Is there no data – or it is just hard to find?

Many countries are not yet providing official figures. Others do not do so on a regular basis. The first question to ask, then, is if there is any testing data for a given country.

Equally important is to make the available data findable. Currently, the available data is often not easy to find, because some countries are releasing figures at unpredictable intervals in ad-hoc locations (including social media or press conferences).

2) What testing technologies are being used?

There are many different technologies for COVID-19 testing, some of which are already implemented, some currently available but not yet rolled out, and some still in development.  As we discuss here, these different tests are used with different objectives in mind, and there are technical differences in how results from these different testing technologies should be interpreted. 

It’s critical that governments provide a detailed and explicit account of the technologies that are being implemented as they get rolled out, disaggregating the test results accordingly. For citizens to trust and understand the published data, and for epidemiologists to incorporate the data into the models that inform public policy, it is crucial that every country provides the data on testing in a clearly documented way.

3) Do numbers refer to ‘performed tests’ or ‘individuals tested’?

The number of tests performed is different to the number of individuals tested. The reason for this is that it is common for COVID-19 testing that the same person is tested more than once.

Some countries report tests performed, while others report the number of individuals tested. In the latter case, it needs to be clear if people who undergo multiple rounds of testing (for instance because they suspected they were infected in March, and then again in September) are counted per round of testing, or only once.

The data description should state clearly what is counted.

4) Are negative results included? Are pending results included?

It needs to be clear whether or not figures for the total number of tests performed, or the number of people tested, include negative test results, as well as the number of tests that are pending results.

Many sources report the number of individuals who are ‘suspected’ or have been ‘ruled out’. To be reliably included in test counts, it needs to be explicit whether such categories reflect the number of people who are awaiting test results or have tested negatively.

5) Do the figures include all tests conducted in the country, or only some? 

Figures reported by countries may only be partial if not all laboratories are reporting to the central authority.

The scope of testing data should be made explicit by the source.

6) Are all regions and laboratories within a country submitting data on the same basis?

Answers to the questions above may vary from region to region. In order to assess the reliability of aggregate testing data, it needs to be clear if heterogenous data is being summed together.

The US COVID Tracking Project, for instance makes it clear that their US totals combine data for tests performed and individuals tested, depending on which is reported by individual states.

7) What period do the published figures refer to?

Cumulative counts of the total number of tests should make clear the date from which the count begins. The key question that needs to be answered is whether the figures published at some date (attempt to) include all tests conducted up to that date.

Because the reporting of tests can take several days, for some countries figures for the last few days may not yet be complete. It needs to be made clear by the source if this may be the case. The US CDC, for instance, makes this clear.

8) Are there any issues that affect the comparability of the data over time?

If we want to look at how testing figures are changing over time, we need to know how any of the factors discussed above may have changed too.

The Netherlands, for instance, makes it clear that not all labs were included in national estimates from the start. As new labs get included, their past cumulative total gets added to the day they begin reporting, creating spikes in the time series.

9) What are the typical testing practices in the country?

Having a sense of how often and when individuals are tested, can help the users of these statistics understand how estimates of tests performed and individuals tested might relate to each other.

For instance, how many tests does a case investigation require? What are the eligibility criteria to be tested? Are health workers, or other specific groups, being routinely retested?

10) Might any of the information above be lost in translation?

People accessing data published in a language in which they are not fluent may misinterpret the data by mistranslating the provided text, which often includes technical terms.

Many countries report testing data in multiple languages – this helps disseminate the information to a broader audience, whilst helping prevent misinterpretations.


Download the data

Last update: June 16, 2021 11:00, London time.
(Our testing dataset is updated around twice a week.)

We make our full testing dataset, alongside detailed source descriptions, available on GitHub here. Our testing dataset is updated around twice a week.

How to cite our testing data

Hasell, J., Mathieu, E., Beltekian, D. et al. A cross-country database of COVID-19 testing. Sci Data 7, 345 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-00688-8

About the dataset

Our goal at Our World in Data is to provide testing data over time for many countries around the world.

To do this, we collect publicly available information published by official sources on a regular basis. Our dataset is updated around twice a week.

Alongside the data, we also aim to provide a good understanding of the definitions used and any important limitations they might have. Our checklist of questions about testing data is what guides our efforts.

We present this information in source descriptions for each country included in the dataset. But in many cases sources do not yet provide the detailed descriptions of the data we would like.

Which countries do we have testing data for?

In this map countries for which testing data can be found in our dataset are shown in blue.

As you can see, we do not have data for all countries in our dataset. Those countries where we have looked, but have not been able to find any official sources of testing data are shown in red. Countries which we are either in the process of adding to our dataset, or for which we have not yet been able to look for data are shown in grey.

How up to date is our data for different countries?

Countries publish their testing data at different frequencies: some provide daily updates, others only weekly, and some only publish figures on an ad-hoc basis at longer intervals.

Because of this, the most recent data we have for different countries refers to different dates. This chart shows you how up to date the latest data is for each country in our dataset.

Our dataset covers 91% of the world’s population:

  • 10% is covered with figures relating to 15 June 2021 or later;
  • 66% is covered with figures relating to 9 June 2021 or later.

Source information country by country

This is the list of the 136 countries for which we have data.
At the very bottom of this post, you can also find the list of countries for which we have attempted to collect data but could not find official sources.
You can download the full dataset alongside the detailed source descriptions on GitHub.
Or else click to jump to the detailed source description and the latest data for that country:

Albania

→ View the country profile of Albania for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Albanian Minsitry of Health and Social Protection publishes daily COVID-19 reports on its website detailing the daily number of tests performed, which we use to construct a time series beginning 25 February 2020.

In some early reports, the testing figures’ units are unclear because the same testing figures refer to both the number of cases tested and the number of tests performed; later reports are standardised and testing figures consistently refer to the number of tests performed, so we assume that the discrepancy is due to ambiguous language and translation issues.

Testing figures refer to PCR and antigen tests. Antigen tests were first reported in Albania on 8 December 2020. Serological tests are also performed in Albania for “screening purposes” (“pr arsye depistimi”), meaning that positive results are not used to confirm cases of COVID-19, and so they are excluded from our testing figures to ensure the accuracy of our Positive Rate. In reports from 10 Nov to 6 Dec 2020, testing figures refer to the total number of tests, and specifcy the number of which that are ‘for screening purposes’; in such instances, we report the difference between these two figures in order to exclude serological tests. As such, our cumulative total differs that from the total tests (‘Testime totale’) reported by the source.

Andorra

→ View the country profile of Andorra for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Andorra

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Andorra publishes the total number of people tested via PCR and antigen tests since the start of the pandemic. Since both positive PCR and positive antigen tests are counted in the total number of confirmed cases, we also add these two figures to count the number of people tested.

Antigua and Barbuda

→ View the country profile of Antigua and Barbuda for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Information Technology

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Information Technology maintains a dashboard reporting the cumulative number of tests performed to date.

According to a post on the Ministry of Health’s official Facebook page, antigen tests are used to confirm cases of COVID-19 in at least one hospital.

Argentina

→ View the country profile of Argentina for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Argentina

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The government of Argentina publishes a complete time series of tests performed on its open data portal: “Information updated daily at 8:00 p.m. notifying COVID-19 tests registered in the country at 17:45.”

The dataset is split by geographical location. We therefore create a daily time series by calculating the total number of tests (“total”) for each date (“fecha”).

We calculate a positive rate for Argentina by dividing the 7-day sum of positive tests (column “positivos”) by the 7-day sum of tests performed (column “total”).

It is unclear whether the reported figures include pending test results.

We do not include the last 5 days of data, as the lags in reporting would lead to an underestimated number of tests, and therefore an overestimated positive rate.

We temporarily stopped publishing data about COVID-19 testing in Argentina between 20 October 2020 and 9 December 2020, due to news reports and official statements explaining that many negative tests had been found not to be counted in the total number of tests in several provinces. In later communications, advisors to the Minister of Health of Argentina notified us that the issue had been resolved, and our time series for Argentina’s testing data were reinstated on 9 December 2020.

Armenia

→ View the country profile of Armenia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Armenian Ministry of Health reports the cumulative number of tests performed on its official Twitter account (@MinHealth_Arm. Data is available from 9 March 2020.

On 12 January 2021, “the World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered and provided the Ministry of Health with 40,000 rapid antigen tests for COVID-19”. On 12 February 2021, the Armenian Ministry of Health published a methodological guide on epidemiological monitoring, which states that these antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19. However, it is currently unclear if antigen tests are included in the testing figures.

According to the WHO’s Health System Response Monitor, “the Minister has instructed that COVID-19 tests be conducted only by laboratories certified by the ministry, only with a doctors prescription and free of charge”.

Australia

→ View the country profile of Australia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Australian Government Department of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
We construct a time series of the cumulative number of tests performed to date using data provided by the Australian Government Department of Health through daily health alerts and weekly epidemiological reports.

The weekly epidemiological reports make it clear that the figures relate to diagnostic PCR testing. Antigen tests are used for screening purposes, according to a joint statement by the PHLN and CDN.

It is unclear whether the reported figures include pending test results. It is also unclear when the first test was conducted, since we have not been able to find official data prior to 22 March 2020 (at which point 143,056 tests had been performed).

The daily health alerts have provided testing figures since 5 April 2020, whereas the weekly epidemiological reports have provided testing figures since 22 March 2020. In the daily health alerts, testing figures are reported within the “Coronavirus (COVID-19) at a glance” infographic. View the entire collection of these infographics dating back to 5 April 2020.

Austria

→ View the country profile of Austria for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection publishes a complete time series of occupancy in hospitals and test results on the “Open Data Austria” website, which includes data on the cumulative number of tests performed to date.

On 12 January 2021, the Austrian government added a very large backlog of tests to its time series, related to mass testing programs conducted in the country. Because of this, the cumulative number of tests went from 3,919,571 on 11 January to 6,865,442 on 12 January. More similar additions were made later in January.

The definition of the tests in this dataset was changed on 13 January 2021 to include both antigen and PCR tests. Because historical testing data was added on that date, the timeline cannot be used for continuous calculations. Like most Austrian media outlets and scientific institutions, we have therefore changed our test positive rate calculations to only include data from February 2021 onwards.

Austria has been testing at a high rate: both PCR and antigen tests are available for free, regardless of COVID symptoms, and testing is compulsory for school children and for accessing many services. Due to this very high number of tests in the denominator, this results in a positive rate that is very low.

Azerbaijan

→ View the country profile of Azerbaijan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan provides daily snapshots that report the cumulative number of tests performed to date.

Antigen tests are not used to diagnose cases of COVID-19, according to an [article]https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2020/12/free/politics%20news/en/131079.htm) published by Turan Information Agency on 20 Dec 2020.

Bahrain

→ View the country profile of Bahrain for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Bahrain Ministry of Health

Short description: It is unclear whether the number of tests refers to samples or individuals tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Bahrainian Ministry of Health publishes frequent updates on the number of confirmed cases, status of existing cases and number of assessments conducted.

These figures refer to the number of cumulative PCR tests to that given date. It is not clear whether this refers to the total number of tests conducted, or the number of people tested. Antigen tests cannot be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Using web archives we can construct a time-series of tests conducted over time based on these frequent updates. It is not clear when testing first began; data is only available from 5 March 2020 where it was reported that 5,334 tests had been conducted.

Bangladesh

→ View the country profile of Bangladesh for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Bangladesh

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Bangladesh provides the cumulative total number of tests performed on an official page dedicated to COVID-19.

The Government of Bangladesh began using antigen tests on 5 December 2020 to diagnose COVID-19 cases, supplementing the PCR testing capacity already in place. The official daily health bulletins confirm this change. Hence, since 5 December 2020, the daily change in tests conducted and confirmed cases in Bangladesh include both PCR and antigen test results.

The Government of Bangladesh previously provided data on the total number of samples tested (“ “) to date in an official dashboard. The full time series of samples tested could be downloaded in the detailed dashboard, which dated back to 4 March 2020. This dashboard became unavailable in late September 2020.

It is not clear whether the reported figures include tests of which the results are pending.

Belarus

→ View the country profile of Belarus for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Belarus Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Belarus Ministry of Health provides daily press releases that report the cumulative number of tests conducted to date. It is unclear whether the reported figures include pending tests.

Prior to 14 April 2020, the Ministry reported imprecise testing figures (e.g. “…more than 64 thousand tests…”). We include these imprecise figures so that our time series extends back to 3 March 2020.

The earliest reported figure that we have been able to find is from 3 March 2020, at which point approximately 5,000 cumulative tests were reported. The number of tests are cumulative since late January 2020, but the press releases do not specify the exact date on which the first test was conducted.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Belgium

→ View the country profile of Belgium for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Sciensano (Belgian Institute for Health)

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
Sciensano provides a daily time series of the number of tests conducted per day, which is updated retrospectively as new data becomes available each day.

According to the dataset codebook, dates for new testing figures correspond to the date of laboratory diagnosis (or when not available, date of sampling).

In its frequently-asked questions, Sciensano indicates that “the diagnostics include molecular techniques as well as rapid antigen tests. Patients with a positive laboratory result are confirmed cases.” We interpret this as follows:
The number of cases reported for Belgium only includes cases confirmed by a positive PCR test.
The number of tests reported by Sciensano in its time series of tests performed includes both PCR and antigen tests.

For this reason, we calculate a positive rate for Belgium by dividing the 7-day sum of positive PCR & antigen tests (column TESTS_ALL_POS) by the 7-day sum of PCR & antigen tests performed (column TESTS_ALL).

Belize

→ View the country profile of Belize for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Statistical Institute of Belize

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Stastical Institute of Belize maintains a dashboard reporting the number of tests performed.

According to an article published by the PAHO on 5 Jan 2021, antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19 under certain circumstances.

Benin

→ View the country profile of Benin for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Benin

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Benin maintains a dashboard reporting the number of PCR and antigen tests performed.

Bhutan

→ View the country profile of Bhutan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Royal Government of Bhutan Ministry of Health reports the cumulative number of samples tested in daily COVID-19 situation updates, which are posted on their website and their official Facebook page. Data is available from 23 March 2020, when 489 samples had been tested.

PCR and antigen tests are reported separately, which we combine to determine the total number of samples tested. We know that testing figures refer to samples tested because it is stated explicitly in some Facebook posts.

Bolivia

→ View the country profile of Bolivia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Bolivian Ministry of Health publishes daily COVID-19 briefs on their official website reporting the cumulative number of positive and negative tests, which we sum to determine the cumulative number of tests performed. As such, pending and indeterminate tests are excluded from the testing figures. Data is available from 14 March 2020, when 26 tests had been performed.

A government guide on “Active Community Surveillance Strategy” (“Estrategia de Vigilanica Comunitaria Activa”), published in October, stresses “developing the national network of laboratories for the detection of the virus (RT-PCR method)” (“desarrollando la red nacional de laboratorios para la deteccin del virus (mtodo RT-PCR)”), and lists all the laboratories in the country with PCR test technology; this document makes no reference to antibody tests. Another document on “Protocol for Laboratory Diagnosis of COVID-19” (“Protocol para el Diagnostico por Laboratorio de COVID-19”), published in May, indicates that antibody tests are an important aspect of the country’s screening and diagnostic process (e.g. see pages 24-27 and annex 2); it also states, however, that “an antibody test will not determine with certainty whether a person currently has COVID-19” (“una prueba de anticuerpos per se no determinar con certeza si actualmente una persona tiene COVID-19”). According to the US Embassy in Bolivia, “antigen testing is still unavailable at this time”. As such, we conclude that a positive result from a PCR test is necessary to diagnose cases of COVID-19 and that testing figures refer to PCR tests.

Recent daily briefs consistently report testing figures in terms of the cumulative number of tests (“pruebas”) performed. However, in the initial months of the COVID-19 outbreak, the daily briefs previously reported testing figures using inconsistent terminology such as samples (muestras) tested, people who have undergone tests (personas, que fueron sometidas a pruebas), and tests (“pruebas”) performed. It does not appear that this inconsistent use of terminology reflects a substantive change in the reported figures, since there are no corresponding large breaks in the time series.

In 10 briefs, the number of negative tests was not reported, preventing us from calculating a total for that date. For these dates with missing official data, we use data provided in this unofficial GitHub repository, which we have cross-referenced against the official data for all dates.

According to Oxford University’s Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, government policy currently covers “only those who both (a) have symptoms AND (b) meet specific criteria (eg key workers, admitted to hospital, came into contact with a known case, returned from overseas)”; “the costs of the test are paid in full by the patient”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

→ View the country profile of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Civil Affairs

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Civil Affairs publishes a time series of the number of tests performed since April 2020. No additional information is given on the type(s) of test counted or the methodology.

Brazil

→ View the country profile of Brazil for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Brazil Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen + antibody

Positive rate: not calculated (see detailed description).

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health maintains a dashboard on COVID-19 testing, with information on the availability of tests distributed to the different Brazilian municipalities.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Brazil includes positive antibody tests in their figures for confirmed cases. Our testing figureswhich exclude antibody testsare not an appropriate comparison in these instances: on this basis there could be more cases than tests, which is not possible. For this reason, we do not calculate the positive rate or number of tests per confirmed case for Brazil.

Bulgaria

→ View the country profile of Bulgaria for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Bulgaria COVID-19 Information Portal

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Bulgaria’s official COVID-19 information portal provides irregular updates of the cumulative number of ‘tests done’.

On 25 December 2020, the phrasing of the metric on the official webpage went from “PCR tests performed” to “tests performed”. This is likely to mean that antigen tests are now included in the number of tests published by the government.

Using web archives we reconstruct the testing time series starting from 11 April 2020. We cannot say with certainty when testing began, only that the earliest observation available to us begins from 11 April 2020. For 19 April 2020, we take the figure provided in Bulgaria’s COVID-19 dashboard as no snapshot was available using web archives. The test figures provided in the dashboard match the figures provided by the information portal for all other dates available.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Cambodia

→ View the country profile of Cambodia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: CDCMOH

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Cambodian Ministry of Health maintains a website reporting the number of tests performed

According to an article posted in the Phnom Penh Post, antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19

Canada

→ View the country profile of Canada for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source #1: Government of Canada

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Canada provides a complete time series of data related to the COVID-19 outbreak here, which includes the cumulative number of people tested from 11 March 2020 to 31 January 2021. As this time series is no longer updated by the Canadian government, it is no longer shown our main COVID-19 data explorer, but it is still available for download in our public testing dataset.

It is unclear from the source whether or not the cumulative figure repeatedly counts people that have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative, repeat testers will not appear in our daily testing figures.

The total number of cases includes publicly-reported confirmed and probable cases (which include positive results of rapid antigen testing). The figures include positive and negative test results, while excluding pending test results.

Source #2: Government of Canada

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Canada provides a complete time series of data related to the COVID-19 outbreak here, which includes the cumulative number of tests performed since 31 January 2021. Data on tests performed is not available before that date, as the Canadian government used to publish data on the number of people tested rather than tests performed; data on people tested is accessbile here.

It is unclear from the source whether or not the cumulative figure repeatedly counts people that have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative, repeat testers will not appear in our daily testing figures.

The total number of cases includes publicly-reported confirmed and probable cases (which include positive results of rapid antigen testing). The figures include positive and negative test results, while excluding pending test results.

Cape Verde

→ View the country profile of Cape Verde for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Cape Verde

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Since May 2020, the government of Cape Verde has published a daily report with the number of test results received in the last 24 hours.

This data does not allow us to publish any cumulative total, since no information is available on how many people had been tested prior to the first day of reporting.

Chile

→ View the country profile of Chile for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation publishes many different dates in its official repository. “Epidemiological data from the Ministry of Health (MINSAL) and data from other sources are available, documented and open for community analysis.”

We use data product 17 to construct a time series of cumulative PCR tests performed in the country. The source describes this data as the “total accumulated number of PCR tests nationwide and those reported during the last 24 hours. The different types of establishments are considered: Institute of Public Health, Public Hospitals and Private Hospitals. This file concatenates the history of the daily reports published by the country’s Ministry of Health.”

We also use data product 55 to construct a time series of the 7-day positive rate. The sources notes that “this product arises from the collaborative work between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Sciences, and researchers from the ICOVID Chile group. The product contains information on the moving average of the last 7 days of the positivity of the PCR tests to SARS-CoV-2, defined as the proportion of the tests that are positive, out of the total of tests performed that day (positive tests / total tests).”

China

→ View the country profile of China for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China has only mentioned the number of nucleic acid tests performed in entire country in two occasions. We therefore include these data points in our time series, but no data is available since 8 August 2020, and no daily number of tests can be derived.

Colombia

→ View the country profile of Colombia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Institute of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Colombian National Institute of Health reports the total number of PCR and antigen tests performed in separate dashboards on their website. We combine these two figures to determine the total number of tests performed. Data is available from 2 June 2020, when 343,518 tests had been performed. We calculate the Positive Rate as the 7-day average of positive tests divided by the 7-day average of tests performed.

To calculate the total number of PCR tests performed, we sum the “positivas_acumuladas” and “negativas_acumuladas” columns, thus excluding indeterminate and pending tests; it is unclear if the reported number of antigen tests performed includes indeterminate and pending tests. Every laboratory in Colombia must report testing data to the National Institute of Health through the SisMuestras application, according to page 19 of news report about the latter.”

Costa Rica

→ View the country profile of Costa Rica for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Costa Rican Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Costa Rican Ministry of Health maintains an official dashboard reporting COVID-19 statistics. Additional data is available from the “Datos generales de casos COVID-19” CSV on this webpage, which we use to construct a time series of people tested. Data is available from 6 March 2020.

Prior to 24 July 2020, suspected COVID-19 cases in Costa Rica could only be confirmed via a positive PCR test result, as described in the 12 June 2020 national guidelines for COVID-19 surveillance. However, revised guidelines published on 24 July 2020 expand the definition of a confirmed COVID-19 case to allow for cases to be confirmed without a PCR test, by epidemiological link.

In the dataset, “nue_posi” refers to “daily positive cases” (“Nuevos casos diarios positivos por COVID-19”), “conf_nexo” refers to “daily positive cases confirmed by epidemiological link” (“Nuevos casos diarios positivos por COVID-19 confirmados por nexo epidemiolgico”), and “nue_descar” refers to “daily cases whose laboratory tests were negative” (“Nuevos casos diarios cuyos exmenes de laboratorio dieron negativo”). We subtract “conf_nexo” from “nue_posi” to determine the number of daily cases confirmed by a positive laboratory test. We then add this value to “nue_descar” to determine the total number of daily people tested by PCR test. We also estimate the Positive Rate by dividing the 7-day average of daily cases confirmed by a positive PCR test by the 7-day average of daily people tested by PCR test.

On 29 Jan 2021, “the Ministry of Health endorsed the acquisition and use of antigen tests” in 10 laboratories, according to this article. We will monitor the situation to determine if these antigen tests are included in testing and case figures.

It is unclear from the source whether or not the cumulative figure repeatedly counts people that have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative, repeat testers will not appear in our daily testing figures.

Cote d’Ivoire

→ View the country profile of Cote d’Ivoire for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Since 13 April 2020, the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene publishes the cumulative total of samples taken in a daily post on its official Facebook page. For a small number of daily updates, only the daily change is stated; in these cases, we derive the cumulative total based on the previous day’s cumulative total + daily change.

The updates use the words “samples taken” to describe these figures, which likely indicates that they include tests whose results are still pending.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Croatia

→ View the country profile of Croatia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Croatia

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Croatia provides daily updates of confirmed cases, deaths, and testing figures here. We construct a time series based on the cumulative figures reported in web archives of the latest koronavirus.hr press release. It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

Prior to 24 March 2020, testing figures were reported in terms of “samples tested” (e.g. “Ukupno je 317 testiranih uzoraka…”). From 24 March to 6 May 2020, testing figures were reported in terms of “tests performed” (e.g. “Dosad je obavljeno ukupno 3.159 testiranja”). Since 6 May 2020 they have been reported in terms of “people tested” (e.g. “Dosad je testirano ukupno 41.053 osoba”). It does not appear that this change in terminology reflects a substantive change in the figures that are reported, however, since there were no large breaks in the time series coinciding with these changes in terminology.

On 1 November 2020, the Minister of Health announced in a press release that antigen and antibody tests will be used “to determine how many people in Croatia were in contact with the virus”. However, it is unclear if antigen and antibody tests will be included in testing figures, or if positive results from these tests will be included in confirmed case figures.

The source provides data for both the cumulative number of people tested to date and the number of people tested in the last 24 hours. The daily change in the cumulative number of people tested to date equals the number of people tested in the last 24 hours, suggesting that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However no further details were found at either source.

We have found testing data dating back to 3 March 2020, at which point 247 samples had been tested to date.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Cuba

→ View the country profile of Cuba for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Public Health publishes data on its official website, which is collected and republished by the COVID-19 Cuba Data project in a dashboard and on GitHub. It includes a time series for the number of tests.

Antigen tests cannot be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, according to an article published by the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee: “patients whose antigen test is negative are referred to hospitals specialized in treating non-COVID related respiratory illnesses, while those testing positive are transferred to isolation centers for suspected cases, where they will be given a PCR test, to definitively confirm whether or not they have been infected with the SARS-COV-2 virus”‘. Testing figures refer to the number of PCR tests, according to our source. This is corroborated by the fact that the number of cases is equal to the number of positive test results reported by the Ministry of Health.

The context in which the figures are published suggests that the number of tests performed may be equivalent to the number of individuals tested. A breakdown into positive and negative results is given, along with a positive test rate. It is also unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

Our data for this series is sourced from a non-official repository of official data. As explained in our FAQ here we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels.

Cyprus

→ View the country profile of Cyprus for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Data for Cyprus is collected and posted by the Open Data Group, based on daily statistical data on the spread of COVID-19 disease in Cyprus, as announced on a daily basis by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health.

The dataset includes the date, daily numbers of tests performed, and total number of tests performed. We collect the total number of PCR and rapid antigen tests performed (“total tests” column).

Czechia

→ View the country profile of Czechia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health publishes a “dataset containing daily numbers of tests performed with a distinction between PCR tests and antigen tests for COVID-19 disease according to laboratory reports. The set also includes the number of tests according to the indication (diagnostic indications, epidemiological indications, preventive and comprehensive testing, others), positive results according to the test indication and positive results according to the test type. The source of data is the Central Information System of Infectious Diseases (ISIN). The primary data were analytically processed and subsequently transformed into a form that can be published online by the IHIS CR team.”

We calculate the daily number of tests performed based on the sum of “pocet_PCR_testy” (PCR tests) and “pocet_AG_testy” (antigen tests).

We also calculate a positive rate by dividing the 7-day sum of positive results (“incidence_pozitivni”) by the 7-day sum of tests performed. This positive rate is calculated based on PCR and antigen tests (rather than only PCR) because our source for confirmed cases (Johns Hopkins University) includes the positive results of antigen tests in the count of daily confirmed cases in Czechia. The results of our positive rate will therefore be different from the graph shown on the official dashboard since the latter is based on PCR tests alone.

This data does not allow us to publish any cumulative total, since no information is available on how many people had been tested prior to the first day of reporting.

Democratic Republic of Congo

→ View the country profile of Democratic Republic of Congo for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: DRC COVID-19 Pandemic Response Multisectoral Committee

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: Unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo publishes daily epidemiological situation updates here reporting the number of new samples tested (“chantillons tests”). Data is available from 8 April 2020. No cumulative total is provided.

No further information is provided about the reported testing numbers, such as whether they include pending or non-PCR tests.

Denmark

→ View the country profile of Denmark for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Statens Serum Institut

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Danish Statum Serum Institute provides epidemiological update reports on confirmed cases, deaths, testing and demographic details. An archive of .zip files is available on its website. Each contains a .csv file (Test_pos_over_time.csv) with the time series of daily (“Tested”) and cumulative (“Tested_kumulativ”) tests performed, going back to 27 January 2020.

Dominican Republic

→ View the country profile of Dominican Republic for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance publishes daily bulletins that report the cumulative number of “processed samples” (“muestras procesadas”) to date. The reported figures exclude pending test results. The first bulletin was published on 18 March 2020, at which point 88 samples had been tested to date.

Prior to 7 April 2020, the daily bulletins reported the cumulative number of discarded (“descartados”) and confirmed (“casos confirmados”) cases separately without a combined “samples processed” (“muestras procesadas”) figure. For these bulletins, we compute the number of samples tested to date as the sum of the number of discarded and confirmed cases. Some bulletins after 7 April 2020 report the number of samples processed alongside the number of discarded and confirmed cases, providing validation that the number of samples processed is equivalent to the sum of the number of discarded and confirmed cases.

Ecuador

→ View the country profile of Ecuador for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health publishes daily COVID-19 situation reports detailing the number of confirmed cases and discarded cases to date since 29 February 2020, which we combine to determine the number of people tested. Data is available from 18 March 2020, when 480 people had been tested.

The number of samples tested is reported separately; the source notes that “there may be more than one sample per person during the diagnostic process” (“Cabe indicar que puede existir ms de una muestra por persona durante el proceso diagnstico”).

Since 27 April 2020 cases tested with PCR tests have been reported separately from those tested with “rapid tests” (“pruebas rapidas”; presumably referring to antibody tests). Since 6 September 2020, only cases tested with PCR tests are reported. We report the number of people tested with PCR tests.

Rapid antigen tests were approved for certain scenarios in early December, according to → View the country profile of El Salvador for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of El Salvador

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of El Salvador publishes an online dashboard that reports the cumulative number of tests performed to date (“pruebas COVID19 realizadas hasta hoy”).

The official dashboard only provides a snapshot of the cumulative number of tests performed as of today, making it difficult to construct a historical time series. We construct a daily time series dating back to 5 April 2020 using the figures reported in the daily reports (“reporte diario”) page. Updates of the page are intermittent, and so data may temporarily be out of date.

On 14 February 2021, the National Directorate of Medicines (“Direccin Nacional de Medicamentos”) issued a statement authorising the importation and commercialisation of antigen tests to detect cases of COVID-19.

Equatorial Guinea

→ View the country profile of Equatorial Guinea for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare maintains a dashboard reporting the number of diagnostic tests performed.

Estonia

→ View the country profile of Estonia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Estonian Health Board

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Estonian Health Board (Terviseamet) publishes open data files on COVID-19 statistics. They include a time series of tests per day and cumulative tests dating back to 5 February 2020. The Health Board notes that past data may be revised if test results are retroactively corrected or new results are received.

Importantly, the source notes that “A case is considered to be a first positive or first negative test per person, i.e. repeat tests are not considered. Thus, there can be a maximum of 2 cases per person – one positive, one negative.” This mean that if this time series will tend to underestimate the number of tests performed in the long run, if the same people repeatedly test negative over the course of the pandemic.

Ethiopia

→ View the country profile of Ethiopia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Information Network Security Agency

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ethiopian Public Health Institute in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health provides daily press releases that report the cumulative number of tests performed to date. The figures reported in these press releases are displayed in an official dashboard maintained by the Information Network Security Agency, which we use as our primary data source.

The official dashboard provides testing figures since 13 March 2020. We have cross-checked a sample of the dashboard figures against the original press releases to ensure accuracy.

It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Fiji

→ View the country profile of Fiji for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services provides a series for the number of tests per day, the number of tests per week, and the cumulative number of tests conducted to date.

The source notes “Laboratory testing for COVID-19 in Fiji began on 28 January 2020 with samples shipped to the WHO collaborating center reference laboratory the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia. Local testing for COVID-19 started at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (Fiji CDC) on 11 March 2020 using the gold standard method for COVID-19 testing realtime RT-PCR. Samples are sent from health facilities around the country to Fiji CDC for testing.”

Finland

→ View the country profile of Finland for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Finnish Department of Health and Welfare COVID-19 data dashboard

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Finnish Department of Health and Welfare publishes a dashboard of confirmed cases, deaths and samples tested. The dashboard provides both daily and cumulative test numbers.

Further descriptions of the testing data are provided here. In this document it notes that:

– “Public and private sector laboratories report to THL (health authority) the number of samples tested per hospital district”
– “The actual number of infections in Finland is probably higher than reported, as not all mild symptoms have been tested so far and no information is available on the number of asymptomatic infections.”
– “Coronavirus testing is performed in both the public and private sectors in several laboratories.”

The data description notes that tests are being rationed and allocated according to the following strategy: “Samples are taken primarily from patients with severe symptoms of respiratory infection and from health and social care staff to ensure staff health and labor adequacy….Attention has also been paid to vulnerable groups of patients with some underlying disease and to those over 70 years of age.”

France

→ View the country profile of France for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Public Health Agency

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
Since 13 May 2020, the National Public Health Agency publishes the number of people tested in a daily-updated file, available on the national open data platform. It systematically records the laboratory results of tests performed by all city laboratories and hospitals concerning SARS-COV2.

Since December 8, after having verified the quality of the data reported, the national public health agency announced that all PCR and antigen test results would now be included in the calculation of national epidemiological indicators.
An adjustment of the duplicate testing methods for patients benefiting from repeated testing during the pandemic (and therefore of the definition of “tested persons”) has also been made. These changes have no impact on the trends and interpretation of the dynamics of the epidemic, which remain the same.
Previously, negative multi-testers were excluded, with the result that the number of people tested was increasingly underestimated over time. The positive rates were very close regardless of the method of calculation used until the week of August 9, when a gap began to appear, due to the very large number of tests performed and the exclusion of the multi-tested negative persons.

This data does not allow us to publish any cumulative total, since no information is available on how many people had been tested prior to the first day of reporting.

The positive rate we use is collected directly from the COVID-19 epidemic monitoring indicators dataset published on the same platform by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health.

Gabon

→ View the country profile of Gabon for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Gabon

Short description: The number of samples tested

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Gabon maintains a dashboard reporting the number of samples tested.

Gambia

→ View the country profile of Gambia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health, The Gambia

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Gambian Ministry of Health maintains a dashboard reporting the number of samples tested. Data is available from 18 March 2020 to 15 March 2021.

Situational reports consistently state that testing figures refer to the number of samples tested. According to a preprint on COVID-19 in the Gambia, posted 11 December 2020 by the official COVID-19 working group, “the standard test for COVID-19 diagnosis in The Gambia is the real-time RT-PCR”, and “a COVID-19 case isany individual with a positive RT-PCR of SARS-CoV-2 from a NPS/OPS sample irrespective of symptomatology”. According to this statement, all testing in the Gambia is performed by the National Public Health Laboratories (NPHL) and the MRCG at LSHTM, and all reporting is done trhough the Ministry of Health.

Georgia

→ View the country profile of Georgia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Georgia

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Georgia reports the daily and cumulative numbers of tests performed on its website.

The reported test positivity rate is equal to the number of confirmed cases divided the number of PCR and antigen tests performed within the past 24 hours. As such, we asssume that positive results from antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

Note that testing figures are approximate, as they are rounded to the nearest thousand by the source.

Germany

→ View the country profile of Germany for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Robert Koch Institut

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Robert Koch Institute publishes a spreadsheet that reports a time series of weekly updates of the cumulative number of PCR tests performed to date, as well as the share of tests that are positive. Where people are tested multiple times, each test will be counted individually. There appear to be reporting lags in the weekly figures, such that the reported figures for any given week increase over the following weeks as labs report additional results. Pending tests are included in the testing figures. The testing figures of up to 204 labs within the country are reported in the dataset. Data is available from the week ending 8 March 2020.

Our positive rate reflects the official positive rate recorded in column “Positivenquote (%)” of the spreadsheet.

On 22 October 2020, the Robert Koch Institute published an update of the National Test Strategy. This update states on page 4 that antigen tests can, under certain conditions, be a useful addition to the PCR test. Antigen tests thus contribute to the further expansion of test capacity. A daily status report from 2 December 2020 notes, ‘this can have the consequence that the population of the tested persons differs from that of the previous weeks, as antigen tests are used instead of PCR tests in certain scenarios, which may cause the positive rate to increase. Therefore the positive rates of the previous weeks are not directly comparable with the positive rates from Week 46. According to this infographic from 23 November 2020, positive results from antigen tests must be confirmed with a PCR test, and so they are not included in reported case figures. Antigen tests are also not included in reported testing figures, according to weekly status reports such as on 25 Nov 2020.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Ghana

→ View the country profile of Ghana for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Outbreak Response Management

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: Unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Ghana’s Outbreak Response Management provides daily situation updates reporting the total number of samples tested. Data is available from 17 March 2020.

Between 10 and 26 May 2020, the daily situation updates provide figures for both the number of samples tested and the number of persons tested. Over this period the two figures differ from one another by exactly 981 tests on each day, which is due to persons under mandatory quarantine undergoing multiple test (2,022 samples tested on 1,041 persons). This discrepancy of 981 tests is small, representing less than 1% of cumulative samples tested at the time. In contrast, the cumulative number of samples tested through routine surveillance and contact tracing are exactly equal to the cumulative number of persons tested on each day in these respective categories.

Prior to 10 May 2020, the daily situation updates provide testing figures using inconsistent terminology, varying between “samples tested”, “persons tested”, “suspected cases tested”, and similar language. Nevertheless, we choose to include all of these figures within our constructed time series, since the variation in terminology does not appear to correspond to large breaks in the time series. In addition, based on the fact that the number of samples tested differs only slightly from the number of persons tested over the 10 May to 26 May 2020 period, we have no reason to believe that the variation in terminology prior to 10 May has any serious ramifications for the interpretation of the time series as the cumulative number of samples tested. From 10 May 2020 onwards, the daily situation updates consistently report the cumulative number of samples tested.

No further information is provided about the reported testing numbers, such as whether they include pending or non-PCR tests.

Greece

→ View the country profile of Greece for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Hellenic National Public Health Organization

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Hellenic National Organization of Public Health publishes daily COVID-19 press releases detailing the number of confirmed cases, deaths and samples tested to date since 1 January 2020. Data is available from 3 March 2020, when 570 samples had been tested. Press releases prior to 9 June 2020 are available from the archived official website.

The source states that the testing figures refer to the number of samples tested, “including more than one sample per person tested” (“ “), in all “labotories that declare to the EODY” (“ “). Pending and indeterminate tests are excluded from testing figures.

Since 26 September 2020, the number of antigen tests performed to date are also reported in the press releases, separately from the number of PCR tests. We combine these two figures to determine the total number of samples tested, because our source for the number of confirmed cases includes positive results from both PCR and antigen tests.

According to Oxford University’s Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, government policy currently covers “testing of anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms”: “COVID-19 tests are available at many major hospitals in Greece, as well as the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (at Arrivals level between entrances 2-3). Testing is paid by the individual being tested. The average cost for COVID-19 testing is 100-120 euros”.

Guatemala

→ View the country profile of Guatemala for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Guatemala Ministry of Health and Social Assistance

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare publishes daily updates on their offical dashboard (https://tablerocovid.mspas.gob.gt/) reporting the daily and cumulative number of people tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. The figures for “screened cases” [casos tamizados] refer to the number of “cases with any antigen or PCR test result for SARS-CoV2” [caso con cualquier resultado de prueba antgeno o PCR para la deteccin de SARS-CoV2]. Antigen tests are performed initially upon observation of symptoms, then negative results are verified with a PCR test, so figures include antigen and PCR tests. Pending results are excluded. The time series goes back to February 2020.

Hong Kong

→ View the country profile of Hong Kong for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: Unclear

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health provides monthly numbers of the COVID-19 viral tests performed. We calculate the cumulative number of tests performed each month in our series. The cumulative total begins from 1 January 2020.

To calculate a positive rate for Hong Kong, we use the “Latest situation of reported cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong” file published by the Department of Health. The positive rate is computed as the number of cases divided by the number of tests, for each reporting period shown in the original testing data.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Hungary

→ View the country profile of Hungary for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Hungary

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
A figure for the ‘number of samples tested in an accredited laboratory’ (“akkreditlt laboratriumban vizsglt mintk szma”) is provided in a graphic in the government’s COVID-19 information website. No other information about the data is provided.

We use these official data as collected by the visual and data journalism team of Budapest-based investigative center Atlatszo, made accessible in a public spreadsheet. We have cross-checked a sample of the figures in this unofficial spreadsheet against official figures.

Our data for this series is sourced from a non-official repository of official data. As explained in our FAQ here we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels. Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Iceland

→ View the country profile of Iceland for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Iceland

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: Unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Icelandic Office of Public Health publishes a complete time series of tests performed, broken down into testing scheme. No other information is provided. It is not clear whether these figures include samples that are pending test results. The daily time-series data extends back to 27 February 2020.

Testing figures include “Diagnostic tests”, “Quarantine and random screening” tests, and “deCODE Genetics screening” tests, and exclude “Border screening 1 and 2” tests. The number of confirmed cases does not match the number of domestic infections from the types of tests included in the testing figures. We therefore remove our estimate of the Positive Rate.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

India

→ View the country profile of India for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Indian Council of Medical Research

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The ICMR reports separate figures for both samples tested and people tested at press conferences and in press releases (shown separately in the charts above). No other details are provided.

The press releases from ICMR do not always stay online for very long. The reason for this is unknown, but the releases are being backed up at this GitHub repository.

On some occasions there appear to have been more than one update released per day. Where we are aware of multiple observations for the day, we show the number for the earlier release.

The ICMR website does not explicitly state whether the reported figures refer to PCR tests only. From contextual information, it appears that the reported figures may also include samples that were tested using a TrueNat non-PCR test. ICMR communications on 21 May 2020 and 19 April 2020 indicate that TrueNat tests are being used in diagnostic testing. These TrueNat tests likely account for a small minority of all samples tested.

Several press articles in late 2020 reported that rapid antigen testing accounted for a majority of tests being performed in the country to detect COVID-19. According to the Hindustan Times, “of the 120 million samples tested for Covid-19 [by November 11, 2020], 49% have been done using rapid antigen testing”.

Our data for this series is sourced from a non-official repository of official data. As explained in our FAQ here we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels. Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Indonesia

→ View the country profile of Indonesia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Emerging infections, Indonesian Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Indonesian Ministry of Health updates its COVID-19 dashboard twice a day but doesn’t keep time series of past data. We found past values using Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The two dashboard URLs (1, 2) seem to lead to the exact same dashboard.

The dashboard shows the latest number of “Kasus dg Spesimen Diperiksa”, which translates to “Cases with Specimens Checked”.

Official diagnostic guidelines published in March 2020 provide some reason to be concerned that serological (antibody) tests are included in the cumulative testing figures, stating that:

“Handling of COVID-19 in Indonesia uses a Rapid Test (RT) for Antibody and / or Antigen in contact cases from positive patients. RT Antibodies are also used for detection of ODP [people in monitoring] and PDP [patient under supervision] cases in areas that do not have facilities for RT-PCR examination. The RT antibody results were still confirmed using RT-PCR.” (translated)

However, testing figures provided by the National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) via twitter explicitly report the number of PCR tests conducted to date, which match the cumulative testing figures provided in the Ministry of Health dashboard. The PCR testing figures reported by the BNPB include a small number of “rapid molecular tests” (“Test Cepat Molekular”), which are diagnostic tests not to be confused with serological (antibody) tests. Of 998,406 cumulative people tested as of 11 August 2020, 26,184 (2.6%) were tested via rapid molecular testing (source). These rapid molecular testing figures are included in the time series we construct.

The BNPB reports, via Twitter, the number of people checked (per day), which is consistent with the cumulative total of “cases with specimens checked” reported by the Indonesia Ministry of Health dashboard. This suggests that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However, no further details were provided by the source.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Iran

→ View the country profile of Iran for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Iran

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Iran provides daily press releases of the cumulative number of tests performed to date. It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

We have found testing data dating back to 5 April 2020, at which point 189,790 tests had been conducted to date. It is not clear when the first test was conducted.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Iraq

→ View the country profile of Iraq for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Iraq Ministry of Health and Environment

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment publishes daily epidemiological reports on its official website and Twitter reporting the daily and cumulative number of samples tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. Cumulative testing figures are available from 7 April 2020, when the total was already 26,331.

According to articles published on 22 Nov 2020 and 1 Dec 2020, antigen tests are being conducted in Iraq. However, it is unclear if these tests are included in the testing figures, or if positive results are used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

Ireland

→ View the country profile of Ireland for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Ireland

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Ireland released a data hub on 18 June 2020 that provides updates on the number of tests completed. The earliest observation is from 18 March 2020, at which point 6,457 tests had been conducted to date.

The total we report is the sum of total tests completed in hospitals and all other labs (NVRL and Cherry Orchard).

Antigen tests cannot be used to confirm cases of COVID-19 in Ireland; this status may change depending on the results of the Rapid Antigen Tests Detection project.

The source notes “Data presented are reported by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at 3pm each day (data as of midnight previous day). This data will be updated on a daily basis from Monday to Saturday. As some cases are tested multiple times over the duration of the illness (with positive results) the total number of positive tests does not correspond to the confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the HPSC.”

Israel

→ View the country profile of Israel for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Israel Ministry of Health maintains a coronavirus dashboard with daily-updated data. We construct a time series of the daily number of PCR tests performed from the public API behind the dashboard.

Italy

→ View the country profile of Italy for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source #1: Ministero della Salute

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The official data provided by the Ministry of Health is compiled by the Department of Civil Protection on GitHub.

A conversation on the GitHub repository of the Department of Civil Protection leads us to strongly suspect that people undergoing multiple rounds of testing over the course of the pandemic are not repeatedly counted in these figures. For this reason, since 23 October 2020 we use the “tests performed” series as our series of reference for Italy’s testing data.

This figure is available for each individual region separately at the source indicated. However it appears that data is missing for individual regions for particular dates we assume that these are also missing from the aggregate total for Italy that we provide. The list of missing data, in English, can be seen at the bottom of this data dashboard built by Franco Mossotto.

It is clear that there are delays in timeline running up to a test being reported both in terms of the time it takes for a symptomatic person to receive a test, and in the time for that test to then get reported in the data. For one region, Lombardy, an investigation found the latter delay in the early period of the outbreak to be around 3-4 days.

There is significant variation in testing practices in terms of how many tests are conducted and how they are allocated across the population across regions and these practices have also changed over time. The extent to which tests pending results are included appears to vary across regions.

Pietro Monticone and Riccardo Valperga have written a very helpful and detailed description of these data quality issues here in GitHub.

Since September 2020, the Italian government has approved the use of antigen tests for the rapid diagnosis of COVID-19. Several people sought more information (1, 2) about the “test definition” for Italy. “Starting from the 15th of January 2021, antigen tests have become part of the statistics for all the Italian regions”, according to this paper.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Source #2: Ministero della Salute

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The official data provided by the Ministry of Health is compiled by the Department of Civil Protection on GitHub. Figures relate to the total number of tests performed. This figure is available for each individual region separately at the source indicated. However it appears that data is missing for individual regions for particular dates we assume that these are also missing from the aggregate total for Italy that we provide. The list of missing data, in English, can be seen at the bottom of this data dashboard built by Franco Mossotto.

It is clear that there are delays in timeline running up to a test being reported both in terms of the time it takes for a symptomatic person to receive a test, and in the time for that test to then get reported in the data. For one region, Lombardy, an investigation found the latter delay in the early period of the outbreak to be around 3-4 days.

There is significant variation in testing practices in terms of how many tests are conducted and how they are allocated across the population across regions and these practices have also changed over time. The extent to which tests pending results are included appears to vary across regions.

Pietro Monticone and Riccardo Valperga have written a very helpful and detailed description of these data quality issues here in GitHub.

Since September 2020, the Italian government has approved the use of antigen tests for the rapid diagnosis of COVID-19. Several people sought more information (1, 2) about the “test definition” for Italy. “Starting from the 15th of January 2021, antigen tests have become part of the statistics for all the Italian regions”, according to this paper.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Jamaica

→ View the country profile of Jamaica for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Jamaica Ministry of Health and Wellness

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness publishes daily press releases on their official website reporting the daily and cumulative number of samples tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. The press releases disaggregate the testing numbers into positive, negative, and pending tests, allowing us to exclude pending tests. It is unclear when testing first began; data is available from 24 March 2020, when it was reported that 148 samples had been tested.

On 20 September 2020, the Health and Wellness Ministry reported that antigen tests would be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, and that these tests must be reported. As such, testing figures include tests performed at all laboratories in the country.

Japan

→ View the country profile of Japan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare provides a full time series of the number of people PCR-tested each day since early February 2020.

Jordan

→ View the country profile of Jordan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Jordan Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Jordanian Ministry of Health publishes daily updates reporting the number of tests performed each day, as well as the cumulative number of tests performed to date, which we use to construct a daily time series. It is unclear if pending tests, or antigen tests, are included in the testing figures.

Daily testing figures are availabe from 16 April 2020, but it is unclear when the first test was performed. As such, we refer to the cumulative testing figures, which are available from 31 October 2020

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Kazakhstan

→ View the country profile of Kazakhstan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Kazakhstan National Center for Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Kazakhstan National Center for Public Health provides an official time series of the total number of tests performed to date. It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

The website explicitly states that “one person could be tested several times”, indicating that the number of tests performed (“ “) is not equivalent to the number of people tested. The reported number of tests performed may include non-PCR tests. Official COVID-19 prevention guidelines indicate that antibody (non-PCR) tests are an important aspect of the country’s screening and diagnostic process (see pages 48-54). But the source does not explicitly state whether these non-PCR tests are included in the reported cumulative number of tests performed to date.

The earliest reported figure is from 13 March 2020, at which point 126 tests had been conducted.

Kenya

→ View the country profile of Kenya for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Kenyan Ministry of Health maintains a dashboard of information on COVID-19, which we have used to construct a time series of the number of tests performed since April 6 2021. Previously, the Ministry’s posted daily press releases and tweets (@MOH_Kenya), which we collected automatically based on an ArcGIS dashboard providing a daily snapshot of cumulative tests. We have found testing data dating back to 6 March 2020, at which point 31 tests had been conducted to date.

According to a circular published by the office of the Director General for Health on Feb 12 2021, antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19 under certain circumstances, and these tests are included in the testing figures.

The tweets and press releases usually reported testing figures in terms of the number of “samples tested”. However, the wording used in some tweets and press releases makes it unclear whether the figures relate to the number of samples tested or the number of people tested. For example, the relevant tweet on 4 June 2020 says “2,640 samples tested in the last 24 hours”, while the relevant tweet on 1 August 2020 states that “727 people are the latest to test positive for Covid-19 from a sample of 6,371 tested in the last 24 hrs”. It does not appear that this inconsistency in terminology reflects a substantive change in the figures that are reported, since there are no large breaks in the time series that correspond to the use of “samples tested” versus “people tested” terminology. Instead, the wording of the tweets and press releases suggests that the reported number of samples tested may be equivalent to the number of people tested. The new source explicitly refers to the number of tests performed, which we use as the unit for the testing figures.

Kosovo

→ View the country profile of Kosovo for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Institute of Publish Health of Kosovo

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo maintains a dashboard reporting the number of tests performed.

Kuwait

→ View the country profile of Kuwait for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Kuwait Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Kuwait Ministry of Health provides daily reports on their official Twitter account, (@KUWAIT_MOH), documenting the daily (“NEW TESTS”) and cumulative (“Total”) number of tests performed. It is unclear if pending tests are included in testing figures. Data is available from 13 May 2020, at which point 227,000 tests had been performed.

From 1329 May 2020, the daily number was termed “NP [nasopharynx] swab last 24 h”, which suggests that the figures only include PCR tests.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Laos

→ View the country profile of Laos for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Laos

Short description: The number of people tested

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Government of Laos maintains a dashboard reporting the number of people tested

Latvia

→ View the country profile of Latvia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Center for Disease Prevention and Control

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control publishes a timeseries of the number of laboratory tests performed to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus (“Veikto laboratorisko testu skaits, lai noteiktu SARS-CoV-2 vrusu”) on the Latvian Government’s Open Data Portal. No information is given on the geographical scope and number of labs included.

Lebanon

→ View the country profile of Lebanon for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Lebanon Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Lebanon Ministry of Health maintains a dashboard reporting the cumulative number of tests performed.

According to daily surveillance reports, only “Local PCR tests” and “Airport PCR test” are included in the cumulative number of tests performed figure. However, the number of confirmed cases is equal to the sum of positive PCR and antigen tests, meaning that antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19. Excluding diagnostic tests from the testing figures misrepresents testing capacity, and so we remove our estimate of the Positive Rate.

Libya

→ View the country profile of Libya for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Libya National Centre for Disease Control

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Libya National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) used to maintain an official dashboard that reported the cumulative number of samples tested to date. Since late September 2020, this dashboard no longer reports the number of tests, and we only collect the daily number of samples tested from the main page of the NCDC website.

It is unclear whether the reported figures include pending test results.

Note that the testing figures reported in the NCDC dashboard do not match the cumulative testing figures reported in the WHO Libya COVID-19 situation reports that are published periodically. For example, the 2 September 2020 situation report claims that a total of 134,027 samples were tested as of 2 September 2020, whereas the time series we construct from the NCDC dashboard yields a cumulative total of 138,487 samples tested as of 2 September 2020. We are unsure of the reasons for this discrepancy.

The earliest reported figure in the official NCDC dashboard was from 4 March 2020 (3 samples tested). It is unclear how many samples were tested before this date. Because of this lack of historical data, we do not include any cumulative total for the testing data for Libya.

Liechtenstein

→ View the country profile of Liechtenstein for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Federal Office of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Federal Office of Public Health presents a time series of daily PCR and antigen tests, downloadable as a CSV file on their website.

We calculate the daily tests performed by filtering for Liechtenstein (geoRegion == “FL”). We then calculate a positive rate by dividing the 7-day sum of PCR and antigen tests performed (entries) by the 7-day sum of positive PCR and antigen tests (entries_pos).

The daily number of positive tests does not equal the number number of laboratory-confirmed cases. This is presumably due to the use of multiple tests to confirm one case of COVID-19.

Lithuania

→ View the country profile of Lithuania for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Lithuania

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Lithuanian Ministry of Health publishes an open-access dataset reporting the daily number tests performed. Data is available from 19 March 2020.

Testing figures include both PCR and antigen tests. According to this article, a positive laboratory test is required to confirm a case of COVID-19. This dashboard displays the number of tests performed, as well as the number of individuals tested; there have more than twice as many tests performed as people tested.

Luxembourg

→ View the country profile of Luxembourg for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Luxembourg Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Luxembourg government provides a complete time series of the cumulative number of PCR tests performed since February 2020.

The same source also provides a time series of the number of people tested, but it is unclear whether or not this cumulative figure repeatedly counts people that have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative, repeat testers would not appear in our daily testing figures. We therefore do not collect this data on the number of people tested.

Madagascar

→ View the country profile of Madagascar for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Madagascar Ministry of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Madagascar Ministry of Public Health provides daily COVID-19 updates on their official Facebook page that include the cumulative number of tests performed, labeled “Nb. TESTS.” We report here the number labeled “PCR” but do not include the number labeled “GENEXPERT” because it is not clear to what this latter number refers. We suspect it refers to a type of PCR test and thus might be subsumed by the overall PCR number.

These updates date back to March 2020 but did not begin including testing numbers until 28 April 2020; the cumulative total then was 3065. Thus it is not clear when testing began.

No other testing information has been found, such as whether the reported numbers include pending tests or whether all laboratories are included in the totals.

Malawi

→ View the country profile of Malawi for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Public Health Institute of Malawi

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
We construct a daily time series of the cumulative number of samples tested to date using daily situation reports published by the Public Health Institute of Malawi. The time series begins on 29 March 2020, at which point a total of 18 samples had been tested. The testing figures exclude pending test results.

The daily situation reports use the terminology “samples tested” and “tests conducted” interchangeably, with no indication that the choice of terminology reflects a substantive difference in interpretation.

Malaysia

→ View the country profile of Malaysia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Malaysian Ministry of Health provides daily situation updates reporting the cumulative number of people tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. The cumulative testing figure, labelled ‘Jumlah Individu Disampel’, can be found in the infographic titled ‘Jumlah Keseluruhan Taburan Kes COVID-19 di Malaysia’. The Ministry of Health also uploads daily press conference livestreams to their official Facebook page reporting the cumulative number of positive (‘Jumlah positif’) and negative (‘Negatif’) test results, to which we refer if testing figures are not available in the daily situation updates. Pending tests are excluded from the testing figures. Data is available from 14 February 2020, at which point 653 people had been tested.

On 16 July 2020, the Ministry of Health released a press statement.pdf) stating that “868,394 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in Malaysia”, and that “Malaysia has conducted 1,577,417 tests (rt-PCR and RTK-Antigen). This is because there are individuals who require repeated tests.” It is therefore clear that antigen tests are included in the testing figures, and that positive results can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

It is unclear if the cumulative number of people tested repeatedly counts people who have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative testing figures, then they will not appear in our daily testing figures.

On 14/15 May 2020, the Director General of Health issued daily press statements, which explain that the sharp increase in testing figures during these dates was due to data consolidation efforts and an improved data collection system.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Maldives

→ View the country profile of Maldives for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Maldives Health Protection Agency

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Maldives Health Protection Agency provides daily COVID-19 response updates on their official Twitter page (@HPA_MV) reporting the cumulative and/or daily number of samples tested. “Repeat samples” are included in the testing figures. The cumulative total is available from 26 June 2020 to 27 Sept 2020. The daily total is available from 28 Sept 2020 until 23 Nov 2020; we determined the cumulative total by summing the daily totals. Both the cumulative and daily totals are available since 24 Nov 2020; we still determine the cumulative total by summing the daily totals. Note that the sum of daily totals is less that the reported cumulative total, with an average deficit of around 5,500, or about 1%; the cause of this discrepancy is unclear, but appears to be innocuous.

Prior to 26 June 2020, our source was the daily update videos posted to the Maldives Ministry of Health official Facebook page, which reported the number of positive, pending, and total Laboratory Sample[s] tested toward the end of these videos they report ; before 16 June 2020 the number of negative samples was also reported. The positive, negative, and total numbers are cumulative, while the pending numbers are current as of that day.

From 1625 June 2020, we used the reported total, which likely includes pending tests. Before 16 June 2020, when negative numbers were reported, we used the total of positive and negative numbers rather than the reported total, since the latter generally included pending values and occasionally contained discrepant numbers that did not match any combination of the positive, negative, or pending numbers. Data is available from 16 March 2020, when 221 samples had been tested.

According to the case definition published 9 Jan 2021, a positive PCR test is necessary to confirm a case of COVID-19. Antigen tests are available but not recommended, and all results should be reported to HPA. It is therefore unclear if antigen tests are included in the number of samples tested; the case definition must match the test definition in order for the Positive Rate to be accurate, and so we exclude our estimate from the dataset.

Malta

→ View the country profile of Malta for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Maltese Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Maltese Ministry of Health publishes daily COVID-19 updates on its official Facebook page reporting the cumulative number of tests performed, which has been our source since 20 January 2021. Previously, we used the Ministry of Health’s GitHub until it stopped updating testing data. Data is available since 6 February 2020.

According to this notice on the Ministry of Health’s website, “on the 12th February 2021, Legal Notice 49 of 2021 – MEDICINES ACT (CAP. 458) – Delivery and Testing of COVID-19 using Point-of-Care Rapid Testing, Regulations 2021) – was published”, which states that “all RAT [Rapid Antigen Test] results must be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Health”. This notice was accompanied by this document, which states that under certain circumstances, positive results from antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

Mauritania

→ View the country profile of Mauritania for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Mauritania Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Mauritania Ministry of Health publishes daily situation reports that state the cumulative number of tests performed to date, as well as the number of tests performed in the past 24 hours.

According to a post by the Ministry of Information, antigen tests cannot be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, but are used for screening purposes. Since 7 July 2020, the daily situation reports have differentiated between the number of tests performed in the past 24 hours and the number of “diagnostic” tests performed in the past 24 hours. For example, the 11 October 2020 situation report states: “91 tests performed today including 83 diagnostic tests” (translated). The non-diagnostic tests presumably refer to antigen and antibody screening tests. However, it is unclear if these screening tests are included in the cumulative number of tests performed to date. The case definition therefore may not match the test definition, and so we remove our estimate of the Positive Rate.

Mexico

→ View the country profile of Mexico for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Mexico

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Government of Mexico makes several datasets available along with its COVID-19 dashboard. The files can be downloaded in CSV format.

To arrive at the time series shown on our website, we use the CSV files for confirmed cases (“confirmados”) and negative cases (“negativos”). For each file, we only keep the row that reports national data, merge the two files together, and add up confirmed and negative cases to find the number of people tested each day. We then calculate the positive rate as the 7-day sum of positive tests divided by the 7-day sum of people tested.

On November 22nd, the Ministry of Health announced in a press conference that antigen tests can now be used to confirm cases of COVID-19. They also established that antigen tests are now included in testing figures. A press release on Nov 5th confirmed that antibody tests are neither used for case confirmation nor included in testing and case figures.

Two pieces of evidence suggest that people undergoing multiple rounds of testing over the course of the pandemic may be counted each round: 1) Figures refer to the number of cases tested, and each case has a unique ID; and 2) The source provides the number of cases with samples tested in the past 24 hours, which matches the daily change in the cumulative number of cases tested.

Data starts on 1 January 2020; we do not know if this is because tests started on that date or because earlier data is not available.

Moldova

→ View the country profile of Moldova for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Moldova Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Moldovan Ministry of Health, Labour and Social protection maintains a website reporting the total number of tests performed.

According to a government order, posted on 3 March 2021, antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19 under certain circumstances, and these tests must be reported to the Ministry.

Mongolia

→ View the country profile of Mongolia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health of Mongolia publishes daily reports on its website dedicated to the COVID-19 situation. They include the daily and cumulative number of samples tested with RT-PCR. Our current time series starts on 11 November 2020, which is the date of the first locally transmitted case in the country.

Morocco

→ View the country profile of Morocco for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Morocco Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Morocco Ministry of Health provides daily updates of the cumulative number of both confirmed cases (Cas confirms) and cases excluded following a negative laboratory result (Cas exclus suite un rsultat ngatif du laboratoire); we add these two numbers together to derive a cumulative total. We construct a time series of the cumulative total number of cases tested to date using updates from the Ministry of Health’s official Twitter page (@Ministere_Sante). There are usually two updates per day, of which we use the latter. Data is available from 7 February 2020, at which point 9 cases had been tested.

On 15 April 2020, the Ministry of Health published a Protocol for the Management of Patients with COVID-19 and their Contacts. This document states on page 2 that cases of COVID-19 can be confirmed by a positive result from either a PCR or antigen test. As such, both PCR and antigen tests are presumably included in the testing figures.

The source provides the daily number of cases confirmed and discarded. The mention of ‘cases’ suggests that people undergoing multiple rounds of testing over the course of the pandemic may be repeatedly counted. However, no further details are provided by the source.

From 2 March to 18 May 2020 we used data stored in this unofficial GitHub repository instead of the official source to automate data collection. We have cross-checked a sample of the figures reported in the unofficial source against official data reported by the Ministry of Health to ensure accuracy.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Mozambique

→ View the country profile of Mozambique for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Mozambique Ministry of Health

Short description: It is unclear whether the number of tests refers to samples or individuals tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Mozambique Ministry of Health publishes daily reports on the number of cases registered, the total number of negative tests, and total tests conducted. It is unclear as to whether figures refer to the number of people or samples tested.

Antigen tests have been used to confirm cases of COVID-19 under specific conditions, according to a report published by the Ministry of Health. The report states that all antigen tests and positive results must be reported to the Ministry of Health.

The number of positive cases registered and the total number of negative tests is equal to the number of total tests conducted for the majority of the daily reports released. For dates where this is not the case, we favour the sum of positive cases registered and the number of negative tests. From 3 October 2020, the MOH no longer reports the number of negative tests. Instead, it reports the number of tests in the last 24 hours and the cumulative number of tests.

There are reports published prior to the 28 March (the earliest we could find is dated 18 March 2020) that include the number of positive and negative tests conducted by the National Institute of Health or in private laboratories. However, the cumulative totals for 26 and 27 March 2020 are inconsistent with the cumulative total reported for the 28 March 2020 onwards. Therefore, to avoid potential inconsistenies with the series from 28 March 2020, we do not include these testing figures.

Myanmar

→ View the country profile of Myanmar for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports maintains a dashboard reporting the total number of samples tested to date, as well as historical daily situation reports, which we use to construct a daily time series. Pending tests are excluded from the testing figures. Data is available from 4 April 2020. Updates ceased to be published on 20 February 2021 due to Myanmar’s internet shutdown.

On 11 October 2020, the Ministry of Health and Sports published Guidelines for the Standard COVID-19 Antigen Test. This document states on page 13 that positive results from antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, whereas negative results must be confirmed with a PCR test.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Namibia

→ View the country profile of Namibia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Namibia Ministry of Health and Social Services

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Namibia Ministry of Health and Social Services provides daily COVID-19 reports on their official Facebook page that include the cumulative number of samples tested. These reports date back to late March 2020 but did not begin including testing numbers until 1 April 2020, when the cumulative total was 306 samples tested.

On 3 February 2021, the Ministry of Health issued a statement asserting that they have “completed the validation of antigen Rapid Test Kits”. Previously, the only tests in use were PCR, according to a report from 9 July 2020. The tests are performed at both public and private laboratories, and it appears that all laboratories are included in the reported totals. The wording in the reports often suggests that pending tests are not included, but we have seen no definitive confirmation of this.

Nepal

→ View the country profile of Nepal for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health and Population

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Nepal Ministry of Health and Population publishes daily COVID-19 reports, which we use to construct a time series of the daily and cumulative number of PCR tests performed to date. Since our source for this data is a non-official repository of official data, we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels. The testing figures of up to 85 labs within the country are reported in the dataset. Data is available from 28 Janurary 2020.

Antigen tests have been used at ports of entry since 19 March 2021, and these testing figures have been reported since 12 April 2021. However, the number of cases corresponds to the number of positive PCR tests, as so we exclude antigen tests from our testing figures.

Before 11 May 2020, the reports differentiated between positive, negative, and pending tests, allowing removal of pending tests from the total. Since 11 May 2020 the number of pending tests is no longer reported and thus it is unclear if they are included in the reported total.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Netherlands

→ View the country profile of Netherlands for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment publishes weekly epidemiological reports recording the number of people tested (“Aantal geteste personen”) in any given week and the positive rate (“% positief”) in Table 17 (“Tabel 17: Aantal geteste personen en aantal SARS-CoV-2 positief geteste personen in Nederland, gemeld door laboratoria, per week”). The reports also record the number of tests performed (“Aantal testen met uitslag”) during any given week in Table 13 (“Tabel 13: Aantal testen uitgevoerd door de GGDen, met bekende uitslag”); our testing figures refer to the number of people tested (Tabel 17) because the time series is longer.

Our positive rate reflects the official positive rate recorded in Table 17 of the weekly epidemiological reports.

There appear to be reporting lags in the weekly reports, such that the reported figures for any given week increase over the following weeks; figures are retrospectively revised once a week with the latest figures as labs report additional results. It is unclear if pending tests are included in the testing figures. The testing figures of up to 54 labs within the country are reported in the dataset. Data are available from the week ending 15 March 2020.

PCR and antigen tests are both included in testing figures. On 12 October 2020, the Government of the Netherlands published a document, which notes on page 18 that antigen tests can replace the PCR test in certain situations.These situations are explained in further detail on page 16 of a document providing Advice on Antigen Testing: a PCR test is not required for confirmation of a positive result, but it is for a negative result; te document also states on page 7 that antigen ‘test results are recorded in a laboratory information system’, and so they are included in the weekly epidemiological reports figures.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

New Zealand

→ View the country profile of New Zealand for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The New Zealand Ministry of Health provides the cumulative total number of tests performed in the country since 22 January 2020.

A note to the data states that “The total number of tests conducted is greater than the number of people tested, because some people are tested more than once.”

Testing figures refer to PCR tests. Antigen tests are currently not used to diagnose cases of COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health’s website.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Nigeria

→ View the country profile of Nigeria for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, on the homepage of the website dedicated to COVID-19, publishes a number of samples tested.

No information is given on the geographical scope and number of labs included. It is also unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

North Macedonia

→ View the country profile of North Macedonia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Republic of North Macedonia’s Ministry of Health publishes COVID-19 updates on their website and Google Data Studio, reporting the daily and cumulative number of tests performed, which we use to construct a daily time series. The time series goes back to 30 March 2020. The datasets currently lack descriptions and so many of the details are unclear; we will add further detail as it becomes available.

Norway

→ View the country profile of Norway for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health publishes a full time series of the daily number of people who have been tested including the number and share who tested positive.

Since the source provides figures for the number of people tested per day, we take this to mean that people that have undergone more than one round of testing in different days over the course of the outbreak will be counted repeatedly. Our cumulative figures for testing are calculated by summing the daily figures together. As such they will include duplicates for people undergoing multiple rounds of testing.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Oman

→ View the country profile of Oman for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Oman Ministry of Health

Short description: It is unclear whether the number of tests refers to samples or individuals tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Oman Ministry of Health provides daily statements on their official Twitter account (@OmanVSCovid19), reporting the daily and cumulative number of tests. It is unclear whether the number of tests refers to samples or individuals tested. It is also unclear if pending tests are included in testing figures. There is no reason to doubt that the tests are PCR only. Data is available from 4 June 2020. Since 7 August 2020, the statements no longer include testing figures.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Pakistan

→ View the country profile of Pakistan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of Pakistan

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The government of Pakistan publishes a dashboard showing up-to-date national data.

The figures sometimes shows important 1-day increases due to the inclusion of more labs.

In November 2020, press reports noted that “the federal government has directed all the provinces to commence Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for diagnosis of COVID-19”. However, it is unclear whether antigen tests are/would be included in the counts of confirmed cases and/or tests performed.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Palestine

→ View the country profile of Palestine for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Palestinian Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Palestinian Ministry of Health publishes daily epidemiological reports on its official Facebook page reporting the number of tests performed each day, which we use to contstruct a daily time series. It is unclear if pending results are included in the testing figures. Daily testing figures are available from 28 August 2020. The first test was performed on 6 Feb 2020.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health also maintains a COVID-19 Surveillance System reporting the cumulative number of samples tested to date. Historical data are not available, however, so we do not use this source.

According to an article by Palestine’s Minister of Health, PCR tests are used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

On 1 Oct 2020, the Palestinian Ministry of Health posted a Facebook status reporting that it had acquired antigen tests. On 11 Oct 2020, it posted another status noting that the National Epidemiological Committee had “recommended that antigen tests be approved in hospitals to isolate infected patients”. However, it is unclear if these tests are included in the testing figures, or if positive results are used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Panama

→ View the country profile of Panama for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Panama Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Panama Ministry of Health provides daily COVID-19 data updates on their official Twitter account (@MINSAPma), reporting the cumulative number of confirmed cases (“casos confirmados”) and negative tests (“pruebas negativas”), which we sum to construct a time series of the cumulative number of tests performed. Pending tests are not included. We gathered data from the Ministry of Health’s official dashboard until 15 August 2020, when it ceased to be updated. Data is available from 9 March 2020.

The number of tests performed includes antigen and PCR tests, according to biweekly status reports published by the Pan American Health Organization. Note that the number of positive tests is marginally greater than the number of confirmed cases, presumably due to the use of multiple tests to confirm one case; we record the latter figure, because the former is only reported once every other week.

Papua New Guinea

→ View the country profile of Papua New Guinea for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Department of Health publishes weekly situation reports reporting the number of tests performed.

Paraguay

→ View the country profile of Paraguay for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Paraguay Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Paraguay Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare posts daily COVID-19 updates on their official Twitter account reporting the number of new PCR tests performed. Data is available from 7 March 2020.

Until 31 Jan 2021, our source was this official dashboard, maintained by the Ministry of Health; we switched to the current source because the old source began to report weekly instead of daily testing figures.

“Muestras” and “positivos” in the current source corresponds with “pruebas realizadas” and “casos confirmados” in the old source.

Peru

→ View the country profile of Peru for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Institute of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR + antibody

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Peruvian National Institute of Health publishes monthly time series of molecular (PCR) tests on its open data platform, which we aggregate to obtain a complete historical time series of PCR tests performed in the country. We also calculate a PCR-only positive rate from this data, by dividing the 7-day sum of positive cases (“RESULTADO” == “POSITIVO”) by the 7-day sum of tests performed.

The sources notes that these are all molecular tests registered in the Information System of the National Network of Public Health Laboratories in Peru (NETLAB), registered by both public and private institutions. Only [positive or negative] verified results are included; it does not include tests that were rejected or awaiting results.

Each entry in the database corresponds to a molecular test, not to a person. The variables included are date of sampling, type of sample, result of the sample, institution that took the test, department, province, DISA/DIRESA and the network of origin. Additionally, the age and sex of the person who was tested are included.

Philippines

→ View the country profile of Philippines for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
As part of its COVID-19 dashboard, the Philippines Department of Health provides a ‘COVID-19 DOH Data Drop’ as a series of CSV files shared on Google Drive.

Among these files, the ‘Testing Aggregates’ file includes a time series of cumulative unique individuals tested since 3 April 2020.

The source provides a breakdown by laboratory. Data for recent days may be incomplete due to delays in reporting.

The source provides data for both the cumulative number of people tested to date and the number of people tested in the last 24 hours. The daily change in the cumulative number of people tested to date equals the number of people tested in the last 24 hours, suggesting that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However no further details were found at either source.

Poland

→ View the country profile of Poland for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source #1: Poland Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Polish Ministry of Health provides daily diagnostics reports on their official Twitter account (@MZ_GOV_PL) giving the cumulative number of samples tested and people tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. Data is available from 28 April 2020.

It is unclear if the cumulative number of people tested repeatedly counts people who have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative testing figures, then they will not appear in our daily testing figures. It is also unclear if pending results are included in the testing figures.

On 31 October 2020, the Ministry of Health changed the case definition to include detection with rapid antigen tests. However, we have not been able to establish whether or not rapid antigen tests are now also included in the testing figures; if not, then the true positive rate will be lower than that indicated in our figures.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Source #2: Poland Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Polish Ministry of Health provides daily diagnostics reports on their official Twitter account (@MZ_GOV_PL) giving the cumulative number of samples tested and people tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. Data is available from 28 April 2020.

It is unclear if the cumulative number of people tested repeatedly counts people who have gone through more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. Since we derive a count of the daily number of people tested from the change in this cumulative number, if people undergoing multiple rounds of testing are not counted repeatedly in the cumulative testing figures, then they will not appear in our daily testing figures. It is also unclear if pending results are included in the testing figures.

On 31 October 2020, the Ministry of Health changed the case definition to include detection with rapid antigen tests. However, we have not been able to establish whether or not rapid antigen tests are now also included in the testing figures; if not, then the true positive rate will be lower than that indicated in our figures.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Portugal

→ View the country profile of Portugal for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Portugal Ministry of Health dashboard

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The dashboard provides figures for the number of samples processed, both as daily figures and as cumulative figure since 1 March 2020.

Up until 29 April 2020 we had reported a figure of the number of people tested, obtained as the sum of confirmed and unconfirmed cases in the Portugal Ministry of Health (MOH) daily updates. We were alerted by a Technical Advisor within the Cabinet of the Secretary of Health to the fact that these figures only captures people who were reported through the National System of Epidemiological Surveillance which does not include many of the people that get tested but are never entered into the surveillance system (because they do not meet the criteria and go on to test negatively). For this reason we have now switched to the current series. The advisor confirmed to us that this series: includes all the public, private and university labs performing SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis in Portugal; does not include tests pending results.

Since October 2020, rapid antigen tests are also being performed for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in Portugal. Since positive results from these antigen tests are notified and counted in daily national figures for confirmed cases, we include them in the number of tests performed in the country. Some laboratories are performing PCR confirmatory tests on both negative and positive antigen tests.

Qatar

→ View the country profile of Qatar for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Qatar Open Data Portal

Short description: The number of people tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Qatar Open Data Portal publishes a daily time series of the cumulative number of tests performed to date. The earliest reported figure that we have been able to find is from 12 March 2020, at which point 5,309 tests had been performed to date.

The testing figures reported by the Open Data Portal match the cumulative number of people tested to date reported by the Qatar Ministry of Public Health. But the Ministry of Public Health only provides a snapshot of the cumulative number of people tested as of today, so we use the data provided by the Open Data Portal to construct a daily time series of the cumulative number of people tested each day since 12 March 2020.

The daily change in the ‘total number of people tested to date’ equals the ‘number of people tested in the last 24 hours’. This suggests that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However no further details were found at either source.

It is not clear whether the reported figures include people for which test results are pending.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Romania

→ View the country profile of Romania for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Romanian Government

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
We construct a time series from daily press releases on the Romanian Government website which includes a cumulative figure of the number of tests processed to date (e.g. “Pn la aceast dat, la nivel naional, au fost prelucrate 484.782 de teste.”). No other information is provided.

Where unavailable at this main source, some earlier observations were sourced from the press office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Health System Response Monitor notes that “since October 2020, as the number of cases increased, RT-PCR tests administered in the hospital emergency rooms have been combined with rapid antigen testing for symptomatic cases.”

Russia

→ View the country profile of Russia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Government of the Russian Federation

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being publishes a daily report giving the cumulative total of tests performed in Russia. No information is given on the geographical scope and number of labs included.

We do not include cumulative totals reported on 30 March 2020 and 31 March 2020, as they seemed inconsistent with numbers given on 29 March 2020 and 1 April 2020.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Rwanda

→ View the country profile of Rwanda for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Rwanda Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Rwanda Ministry of Health (@RwandaHealth) tweets press releases in English, French, and Kinyarwanda that report the number of samples tested each day.

The earliest press release we have found containing testing figures is from 7 April 2020. Between 7 April 2020 and 1 May 2020 (inclusive), the press releases reported the number of samples tested today, but not the cumulative number of samples tested to date. Since 2 May 2020, the press releases have reported the cumulative number of samples tested to date as well as the number of samples tested today. We construct a daily time series since 6 April 2020 of the cumulative number of samples tested to date by subtracting daily tests between 7 April 2020 and 2 May 2020 from the 2 May 2020 cumulative total.

As of 6 April 2020, 5,701 samples had been tested to date. It is unclear when the first samples were tested.

It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests for which the results are pending.

Prior to 17 April 2020, the press releases reported testing figures using the language “samples tested”. From 17 April 2020 onwards, the press releases have used the ambiguous language “tests today”. We assume that “tests today” still refers to the number of samples tested.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Since 26 October 2020, we collect this data automatically based on an ArcGIS dashboard that provides a daily snapshot of cumulative tests.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

→ View the country profile of Saint Kitts and Nevis for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested

Test definition: unclear

Case definition: unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health maintains a table reporting the number of people tested.

Saudi Arabia

→ View the country profile of Saudi Arabia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health maintains a dashboard that provides a snapshot of the total number of tests performed to date. The daily time series of tests performed each day is not displayed in the dashboard, but is available at this API endpoint.

The dashboard reports testing figures as “total tests”, making it unclear whether the figures refer to the number of samples tested, tests performed, or people tested. Nevertheless, corresponding press releases from the Ministry of Health imply that the figures refer to the total number of tests performed. For example, the 26 July 2020 press release states that “…57,216 new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been conducted in the Kingdoms laboratories, bringing the total number to 3,056,956 lab tests”.

The figures are cumulative since 2 March 2020 (160 tests performed).

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Senegal

→ View the country profile of Senegal for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry for Health and Social Action

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Senegalese Ministry for Health and Social Action publishes an official dashboard alongside daily press releases that report the number of tests performed (“nombre de tests raliss”) and the number of confirmed cases (“cas positifs” / “cas confirmes”). The dashboard provides daily testing figures since 1 April 2020, which we supplement with daily press releases dating back to 28 February 2020. We have cross-checked a sample of the dashboard figures against the press release figures to ensure consistency.

The fact that the number of reported tests with positive results (“son revenus positifs”) equals the number of confirmed cases implies that the testing figures equal the number of people tested.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Serbia

→ View the country profile of Serbia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Reports are published daily by the Serbian Ministry of Health. The data is collected and aggregated by volunteers and published on GitHub. All labs in Serbia are included.

The daily change in the total number of people tested equals the number of people with samples tested since the last daily report. This suggests that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have been tested more than once over the course of the pandemic. However no further details could be found at the sources.

Our data for this series is sourced from a non-official repository of official data. As explained in our FAQ here we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels. Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Singapore

→ View the country profile of Singapore for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: Unclear

Case definition: Unclear

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health dashboard gives a cumulative total of swabs tested. No other information is provided.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Slovakia

→ View the country profile of Slovakia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Insitute for Healthcare Analyses (IZA) of the Ministry of Health maintains an official GitHub repository reporting the daily number of tests performed, which we fetch to construct a daily time series. The testing figures that we report only include both PCR and antigen tests.

Based on the same data, we also calculate a positive rate by dividing the 7-day average number of positive PCR & antigen results, by the 7-day average number of PCR & antigen tests performed.

Slovenia

→ View the country profile of Slovenia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Institute of Public Health, via Sledilnik

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
We rely on the API made available by the volunteer-led Sledilnik.org project, which presents the official data in a helpful website. The data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and various public sources is included in database on a daily basis (with history), including the number of tests performed and number of confirmed infections.

In February 2021, the governement started using PCR to confirm all antigen tests. For all intents and purposes Slovenia’s case definition is therefore defined only by positive PCR results, even if some people are getting screened and found via antigen before they are confirmed with PCR. It thus makes sense to only consider PCR tests in our testing figures and positivity rate which is also what the government has done in its own communication.

We use the lab-tests API endpoint to collect the number of PCR tests performed on a daily basis, from which we construct a time series. We also calculate a positive rate, based on the 7-day sum of positive tests divided by the 7-day sum of tests performed.

South Africa

→ View the country profile of South Africa for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) publishes daily updates on the number of confirmed cases, deaths and tests conducted nationally and by province. These updates are published on its website and on its offical Twitter account (@nicd_sa).

The NICD reports the number of ‘tests processed’, which is also labelled as ‘total tested’. On 18 April 2020, the official twitter account for the Department for Health clarified that repeat tests for COVID-19 are not counted and that the testing figures refer to the number of people tested.

The source provides data for both the cumulative number of people tested to date and the number of people tested in the last 24 hours. The daily change in the cumulative number of people tested to date equals the number of people tested in the last 24 hours, suggesting that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However no further details were found at either source.

The NICD began publishing daily updates on 7 February 2020, allowing us to develop a time series from this date forward. We do not know the first date of testing. As of 7 February 2020, 42 people had been tested.

We source this data from the Data Repository for South Africa repository, created, maintained and hosted by the Data Science for Social Impact research group, led by Dr. Vukosi Marivate at the University of Pretoria.

Our data for this series is sourced from a non-official repository of official data. As explained in our FAQ here we regularly audit the accuracy of this repository against direct official channels. Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

South Korea

→ View the country profile of South Korea for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Korean CDC have provided daily updates in English since 21 January 2020.

The daily updates show the change each day and the current total. These form a consistent chain all the way back to 21 January 2020. The daily figures we provide relate to the daily change in the number of people tested with results (the figures do not include those cases pending test results).

The source provides data for both the cumulative number of people tested to date and the number of people tested in the last 24 hours. The daily change in the cumulative number of people tested to date equals the number of people tested in the last 24 hours, suggesting that the cumulative total will repeatedly count people that have undergone more than one round of testing over the course of the pandemic. However no further details were found at either source.

Since 23 September 2020, due to a change in format on the Korean CDC website, we collect our data from the website of the Ministry of Health and Welfare dedicated to COVID-19. The data shown by the Korean CDC and the Ministry of Health and Welfare is perfectly identical.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

South Sudan

→ View the country profile of South Sudan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The South Sudanese Ministry of Health publishes daily updates on their official website reporting the cumulative number of tests performed, which we use to construct a daily time series.

Spain

→ View the country profile of Spain for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen + antibody (only under ‘exceptional’ circumstances)

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
We construct a time series of the cumulative number of PCR and antigen tests performed to date based on weekly ‘Lab Tests’ press releases from the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare. We do not include the daily test figures published in the daily ‘Updates’ due to persistent reporting lags. Furthermore, there appear to be reporting lags in the weekly reports, such that the figures for any given week increase the following week. Figures are retrospectively revised once a week with the latest figures as additional labs report their results. Data are available from 13 April 2020, in a Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare press release.

The testing figures refer to the number of tests performed. Where people are tested multiple times, each test will be counted individually. On page 5 of the Strategy for Early Detection Surveillance and Control of COVID-19, it states that if the PDIA is negative and there is high clinical suspicion of COVID-19, a repeat test will be considered, meaning that multiple tests may be required to confirm one diagnosis. As such, estimates of positive rates based on the number of tests and the number of confirmed cases may be greater than the true figure. It is unclear if pending results are included in the testing figures.

Daily case reports published by the Ministry of Health, such as on 5 August 2020, note that ‘total cases [are] confirmed by PCR until 10 May, and by PCR and IgM (only if compatible symptoms) according to the new surveillance strategy from 11 May’; however, antibody tests are not included in reported test figures.

On 12 November 2020, the Ministry of Health published an update of the Strategy for Early Detection Surveillance and Control of COVID-19. This update states on page 6 that positive results from both PCR and antigen tests can be used to confirm diagnoses for COVID-19. Furthermore, it states on page 6 that positive results from IgM antibody tests can also be used to confirm active cases of COVID-19, when the clinical criteria for suspected cases are also met; it also states on page 19 that under exceptional circumstances, positive results from IgG antibody tests can be used to confirm resolved cases of COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients, but that screening through serological tests is not recommended; as such, antibody tests are likely to represent only a small fraction of total tests.

For more information about how these details may impact the time series, refer to our FAQ on our COVID-19 testing dataset.

Sri Lanka

→ View the country profile of Sri Lanka for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Sri Lanka Health Promotion Bureau

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Sri Lankan Health Promotion Bureau provides a time series of the number of PCR tests performed every day since 18 February 2020. This data is available via the Health Promotion Bureau’s API. It is unclear whether the data includes pending test results.

Sweden

→ View the country profile of Sweden for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Sweden Public Health Agency

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
Since July 2020, the Public Health Agency has replaced its previous weekly updates of the number of people tested with the weekly count of tests performed. This data does not allow us to publish any cumulative total, since no data is available on how many tests had been performed prior to the first week of reporting. However, we integrate this data into our “daily tests” time series by dividing each weekly total by 7, thereby estimating the average daily number of tests performed.

The source notes that “the number of cases reported in the statistics is based on laboratory-confirmed cases”, and the number of tests we collect only includes PCR tests.

Switzerland

→ View the country profile of Switzerland for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Federal Office of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Federal Office of Public Health presents a time series of daily PCR and antigen tests, downloadable as a CSV file on their website.

We calculate the daily tests performed by filtering for Switzerland (geoRegion == “CH”). We then calculate a positive rate by dividing the 7-day sum of PCR and antigen tests performed (entries) by the 7-day sum of positive PCR and antigen tests (entries_pos).

The daily number of positive tests does not equal the number number of laboratory-confirmed cases. This is presumably due to the use of multiple tests to confirm one case of COVID-19.

Taiwan

→ View the country profile of Taiwan for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Taiwan CDC Open Data Portal

Short description: The number of people tested.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes a complete time series of the number of cases tested on its open data portal.

A technical specialist from the Taiwan CDC confirmed to Our World in Data that “in Taiwan, every notified case tests for SARS-CoV-2. The number of tests performed per notified case relate to the criteria for releasing COVID-19 confirmed cases from isolation, and the disease status of notified cases. There are three reporting portals provided for medical workers and public health workers to report a COVID-19 suspected case: ““, ““, ““. The number of COVID-19 related tests is the sum of column B(), C(), and D().”

The Taiwan CDC provides the daily number of cases suspected for SARS-CoV-2 Infection that have been tested. The mention of ‘cases suspected’ suggests that people undergoing multiple rounds of testing over the course of the pandemic may be repeatedly counted. However, no further details are provided by the source.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Thailand

→ View the country profile of Thailand for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Medical Sciences publishes a complete time series of tests performed in Thailand. Data is available since January 2020.

We use this time series to collect a time series of tests performed in the country, as well as the positive rate (dividing the 7-day average number of positive results by the 7-day average number of tests).

Timor

→ View the country profile of Timor for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Health maintains a table reporting the number of tests performed.

According to a post on the WHO’s official Facebook page for Timor-Leste, antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

Togo

→ View the country profile of Togo for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Togo Ministry of Health

Short description: Unclear

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Togo Ministry of Health provides daily updates on the number of samples tested via their official government portal and affiliated social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Data is available from 4 March 2020.

We are in direct contact with the MOH who provide daily updates on the number of samples tested. These figures consistently and slightly differ from those in the sources listed above due to internal MOH reporting delays. Our figures are more up-to-date. For example, for the 28 June 2020 the cumulative total of samples tested on Twitter is reported to be 30,316 samples while in the internal MOH figures it is 30,333. Please see the notes for each observation where we include a link to the corresponding MOH tweet for comparison, where available.

Testing figures refer to the number of PCR tests performed each day. An article by the WHO, published 4 January 2021, stated, “to date, 181,177 tests have been carried out throughout the territory for 3,722 positive confirmed case” (“a date, 181 177 tests ont ainsi t raliss sur toute ltendue du territoire pour 3 722 cas confirms positifs”), suggesting a positive PCR test is necessary to confirm cases of COVID-19.

Trinidad and Tobago

→ View the country profile of Trinidad and Tobago for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Trinidadian Ministry of Health publishes daily updates on their official website reporting the cumulative number of people tested, which we use to construct a daily time series. The testing figures include repeat testers who get tested multiple times over the course of the pandemic. Negative, positive, and pending results are included. Data is available from 5 May 2020.

The PCR test method was originally performed on all samples, according to CARPHA) and the UWI. On 31 October 2020, the Health Ministry announced in a media press conference that rapid antigen tests would be distributed “to all health facilities” and could also be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, following verification of the test’s performance.

Initially, testing figures referred only to “samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and UWI site”. On 19 August 2020, figures referred to “samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the UWI and other local sites”. On 21 Dec 2020, the testing figures began to include the number of people tested “at both public and private facilities”, which corresponded with a large increase in the reported number of people tested. A full list of testing locations is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Tunisia

→ View the country profile of Tunisia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Tunisian Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of people tested.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Tunisian National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases reports the cumulative number of cases tested on its official website, which we have collected since 2 April 2021.

Previously, the Tunisian Ministry of Health dashboard provided a time series of daily figures for the cumulative number of tests performed to date, as well as a time series for the number of tests conducted per day, until 25 Sept 2020. Only the latter time series was displayed in the dashboard, yet both time series are available at this API endpoint.

According to a bulltein published by the ONMNE on 15 Jan 2021, private tests have been included in the dataset since September 2020. Furthermore, as of November 2020, antigen tests have been used to confirm cases of COVID-19, and these tests are also included in the dataset.

The earliest observation is available from 10 March 2020, at which point a total of 150 people had been tested.

Turkey

→ View the country profile of Turkey for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Turkish Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Turkish Ministry of Health now publishes a daily chart of Coronavirus confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries, total tests (“TOPLAM TEST SAYISI”), and tests today (“BUGNK TEST SAYISI”).

These daily charts are published on the Turkish Ministry of Health’s website previous versions can be found on Web Archive. This only extends back to 27 March 2020. Prior to this date, we rely on figures reported by the Turkish Minister for Health at daily press conferences. In these reports they detail the latest update of confirmed cases, deaths and tests conducted.

We are not aware of the date that testing began: only that as of 18 March 2020 the first data point in our series 10,018 tests had been conducted.

No other information concerning the figures is known.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

Uganda

→ View the country profile of Uganda for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Uganda Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Uganda Ministry of Health publishes a daily press releases on their official Twitter account ([@MinofHealthUG])(“https://twitter.com/MinofHealthUG”) detailing the cumulative and daily number of samples tested. Data is available from 1 April 2020.

According to a press release published by the Ministry of Health on 5 June 2020, “the PCR is the only single, dependable and WHO recommended test used for diagnostic purposes in Uganda”. As such, we conclude that testing and case figures refer to PCR tests.

The earliest press release we could find that lists the cumulative and daily figures is for 1 April 2020. However, we cannot say with certainty when testing began and the precise date from which cumulative totals begin.

According to Oxford University’s Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, government policy currently covers “testing of anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms”.

Ukraine

→ View the country profile of Ukraine for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine provides daily snapshots that report the cumulative number of tests performed to date.

It is unclear whether the reported figures include tests pending results.

In the daily snapshots, the wording used to report the cumulative testing figures does not make it clear as to whether the reported figures relate to the number of tests performed or the number of persons tested. For example, the cumulative testing figure reported on 6 August 2020 is “1,116,641 tested” (translated from ““). The english version of the same page reports the same figure as “total of tests”, which is also unclear. A more detailed dashboard on the same web domain provides testing figures in downloadable csv files dating back to 1 June 2020, where each csv file contains separate columns for the cumulative number of PCR tests and non-PCR tests. The cumulative PCR testing figures reported in these csv files are described as “The number of laboratory tests performed by PCR on COVID-19” (“ COVID-19″), making it clear that the figures refer to the number of tests performed (which may or may not be equivalent to the number of people tested).

The cumulative PCR testing figures provided in the csv files tend to be approximately 2% smaller than the testing figures provided in the daily snapshots. Nevertheless, we assume that this discrepancy is due to small differences in the reference date, reporting laboratories included, or other minor details, rather than the possibility that the daily snapshot figures include non-PCR tests or refer to a metric other than the number of tests performed. The cumulative number of non-PCR tests reported in the csv files are much larger than the size of this discrepancy.

The earliest reported figure that we have been able to find is from 9 April 2020, at which point 20,608 cumulative tests were reported.

Note that, due to the way the data is presented by the official source, the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions made by the source see our FAQ here.

United Arab Emirates

→ View the country profile of United Arab Emirates for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority provides a time series dataset (available to download), including the number of daily tests conducted from 29 January 2020 to today.

According to a contact at the Ministry of Cabinet affairs, PCR tests only are included in the testing figures and used to confirm cases of COVID-19.

The source notes, “to ensure the highest possible quality and accuracy of the COVID-19 numbers, these data are regularly reviewed by UAE governmental authorities concerned. Numbers may change as the data are continuously refined”, and so the time series may be impacted by retrospective revisions see our FAQ here.

United Kingdom

→ View the country profile of United Kingdom for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The United Kingdom government publishes a full retrospective time series of testing data going back to 31 March 2020 via an official coronavirus API. We construct a daily time series of the combined number of PCR and antigen (lateral flow device) tests conducted using the “newVirusTests” / “cumVirusTests” variables exposed by the API.

The “newVirusTests” / “cumVirusTests” variables capture all PCR and antigen tests conducted across pillars 1 to 4 of the government’s mass testing program. See the official source documentation for more information. The “newVirusTests” / “cumVirusTests” variables do not include antibody tests conducted.

Data on antigen tests is available since 21 October 2020. As of 21 December 2020, data on antigen tests is available for England only.

United States

→ View the country profile of United States for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Health & Human Services

Short description: The number of tests performed. The figures are the sum across states, some of which may include serology tests in addition to PCR tests.

Test definition: PCR + some serology tests

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: collected directly from the source. This means that the number of cases that can be deduced based on the number of tests and the positivity rate, is not necessarily equal to the number of cases visible in the rest of our COVID-19 data, which we import from Johns Hopkins University.

Detailed description:
Since August 2020, our principal time series for the United States is based on the CSV file made available by the Department of Health & Human Services on HealthData.gov.

It “includes viral COVID-19 laboratory test (PCR) results from over 1,000 U.S. laboratories and testing locations including commercial and reference laboratories, public health laboratories, hospital laboratories, and other testing locations.”

The source notes that “data presented here is representative of diagnostic specimens being tested – not individual people (…). Data presented might not represent the most current counts for the most recent 3 days due to the time it takes to report testing information. The data may also not include results from all potential testing sites within the jurisdiction (e.g., non-laboratory or point of care test sites) and therefore reflect the majority, but not all, of COVID-19 testing being conducted in the United States.”

It is also explained in the description that the data “excludes serology tests where possible”, which may indicate that not 100% of the tests included in the time series are PCR tests.

For the positive rate, we use as a numerator the 7-day moving average of confirmed cases from the Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State/Territory dashboard maintained by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The denominator is the 7-day moving average of tests performed.

Note that due to the great diversity of counting methods across US states for both cases and tests, calculating an accurate positive rate for the entire country can be very challenging. The volunteer-led COVID Tracking Project has a very useful blog post summarizing these obstacles: ‘Test Positivity in the US Is a Mess‘.

Uruguay

→ View the country profile of Uruguay for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Ministry of Public Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Ministry of Public Health in Uruguay publishes daily reports providing the cumulative total of tests performed. These figures are also made available on the Sistema Nacional de Emergencias dashboard, in which the figures are presented as the number of tests processed since 13 March 2020 (“Desde el 13 de marzo se han procesado: [N] test”).

Antigen tests can be used to confirm cases of COVID-19, according to an ordinance published by the Ministry of Health on 15 Jan 2021. Antibody tests are not diagnostic, but instead are used for investigative purposes, according to an (article)[https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-salud-publica/comunicacion/noticias/testeos-covid-19-uruguay] posted on 21 Dec 2021.

We previously reported testing data from a dashboard maintained by El Observador, but on 20 April 2020 we replaced the entire time series based on the reports from the Ministry of Health.

Vietnam

→ View the country profile of Vietnam for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Vietnam General Department of Preventive Medicine

Short description: The number of samples tested.

Test definition: PCR

Case definition: PCR

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Vietnam General Department of Preventive Medicine provided daily COVID-19 bulletins that periodically report the cumulative number of samples tested to date. The bulletins extend back to 13 February 2020 and ceased on 15 October 2021. The Ministry of Health now sporadically shares testing data on their website. We cannot say with certainty when testing began, only that 856 samples had been tested as of 13 February 2020.

We have been unable to find testing figures in any of the bulletins published between 29 April 2020 and 28 July 2020, with the exception of a 4 July 2020 bulletin reporting that 379,701 samples had been tested to date. From 29 July 2020 onwards, the bulletins make it clear that the testing figures relate to PCR tests only.

Some bulletins report the cumulative number of people tested alongside the cumulative number of samples tested. Oddly, the cumulative number of people tested is larger than the cumulative number of samples tested. For example, the 18 September 2020 bulletin reports 1,183,341 samples tested to date using PCR, while at the same time reporting 1,358,575 people tested to date. Further, a 15 March 2021 press statement reports 2,482,302 RT-PCR tests as well as 3,248,873 people tested. The article also states that “the number of rooms capable of testing for … SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR technique is 157 rooms, the maximum testing capacity is about 62,593 samples / day”, while “the number of rooms that have been allowed for confirmed testing is 101 rooms with a maximum testing capacity of about 50,663 samples per day.” In another article, it is stated that “in case of suspected positive, positive must immediately transfer the sample to the laboratory that has been allowed to test confirm SARS-CoV-2”. As such, one explanation for this discrepancy is that samples are tested multiple times.

Bulletins published between 13 February 2020 and 28 April 2020 report the cumulative number of samples tested to date alongside the cumulative number of samples with positive test results and the cumulative number of samples with negative test results, which suggests that in this time period the total number of samples tested may be equivalent to the number of people tested. However, it is unclear whether samples with negative test results include instances of resampling for the same person.

Zambia

→ View the country profile of Zambia for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Zambia Ministry of Health

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Zambia Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the Zambia Statistics Agency, provides a time series of the number of samples tested each day since 19 March 2020 in an official dashboard.

The dashboard data is sourced from daily reports produced by the Ministry of Health (published on their Facebook and Twitter pages) and the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI).

To ensure accuracy, we have cross-checked a sample of the dashboard figures against the Ministry of Health and ZNPHI reports.

Official reports from the Ministry of Health and ZNPHI use the terminology “tests conducted” and “samples tested” interchangeably over time, with no indication that the choice of terminology represents a substantive difference in the reported figures.

The reported figures that are based on ZNPHI reports exclude pending test results, while it is unclear whether the reported figures from the Ministry of Health reports exclude pending test results. Nevertheless, pending test results represent a small fraction of overall tests, so this possible discrepancy is of minor consequence.

Zimbabwe

→ View the country profile of Zimbabwe for the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care

Short description: The number of tests performed.

Test definition: PCR + antigen

Case definition: PCR + antigen

Positive rate: calculated by Our World in Data as the 7-day rolling average of daily cases, divided by the 7-day rolling average of daily tests.

Detailed description:
The Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care provides daily press releases on its website and Twitter account (@MoHCCZim) that report the cumulative number of tests performed to date. The reported figures include positive, negative, and pending test results.

The press release for 6 May 2020 reported that 7,808 PCR and 8,244 “rapid screening” tests had been conducted to date. We exclude rapid screening tests from the daily time series that we construct, since we assume that these are antibody tests.

Prior to 6 May 2020, the press releases either: (a) reported a combined cumulative total of PCR and rapid screening tests without providing a breakdown between the two types of tests; or (b) did not clearly specify whether the reported cumulative total was in reference to PCR tests, antibody tests, or both. For this reason, the daily time series we construct begins on 6 May 2020, at which point the press releases began to clearly indicate that the reported cumulative totals only include PCR tests.

Since 19 Jan 2021, the press releases report a combined cumualtive total of PCR and rapid antigen tests. According to a United Nations report, published on 27 January 2021, antigen tests can be used to diagnose cases of COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions about our COVID-19 Testing dataset

Why are not all countries included in your data?

We do not have testing data for all countries.

For some countries we are aware of a source of data and are currently in the process of adding it to our dataset.

For others, we are not aware of any official source of testing data.

Who provides you with the data on testing?

Testing data is collected by Our World in Data by browsing public information from official sources. We rely on figures published on official websites, in press releases and by social media accounts of national authorities—usually governments, ministries of health, or centres for disease control.

Our testing dataset is entirely replicable:

How up-to-date is your data?

We regularly update our testing data—around twice a week. You can see when we last updated the dataset at the top of this section.

We only use information made publicly available by each country. Many countries do not release figures on a daily basis.

Are tests pending results included?

Few countries explicitly state whether their published figures include tests pending results or not. We note any available information about this in the data descriptions for each country.

Where figures including and excluding pending tests are both available, we exclude them from our figures. The details of this are always documented in the data descriptions for each country.

As a minimum requirement, we only include figures in the dataset that count both positive and negative test outcomes (and if included, pending results too) according to a consistent unit (i.e. the figures for both positive and negative test outcomes refer either to the number of tests, or the number of people tested, but not a mix of the two units).

How can I see changes you’ve made to the database?

Anyone can track changes to our data and updates using our GitHub repository. Each file presents a full history of changes (commits). This allows viewers to trace back any addition or edit to a particular date and time.

Do countries report to you, and then you report to others such as the UN, WHO, OECD or the World Bank?

Our World in Data does not report data privately to any party. Similarly, countries do not report privately to Our World in Data either. 

Every source we consult is public, our data collection can be replicated, and our numbers can be used by anyone. Any person or organization can consult and use our database. 

In particular, Our World in Data does not report directly to international organizations. When these organizations want to rely on our data, they visit our website, and access the same public information that is available to everyone. 

Do you verify the data published by countries?

Our World in Data highlights ambiguities or problems with official sources; but this process is entirely done based on public information, and there is no direct verification with government officials. We list all ambiguities and data problems for each country in the detailed source descriptions.

Do your estimates aggregate antibody tests and PCR tests?

Where countries provide disaggregated testing figures for different testing technologies, we will include only PCR tests in this dataset. The reason for this is explained in our background information on testing.

Few countries currently explicitly state the testing technology to which their figures relate. However, many countries refer to their testing figures as relating to ‘laboratory’, ‘diagnostic’, or ‘swab’ testing. In general, this is an indication that figures relate to PCR tests, particularly in the context that this technology remains the WHO recommended basis for case confirmation.7

Why do you not report the positive rate or tests per case for all countries in the dataset?

Our data on testing aims to include only PCR tests for COVID-19 infection. One of the reasons we do this is because in most countries this testing technology is the basis of case confirmation. Positive antibody tests are typically not included in confirmed case counts. As such, it is the number of PCR tests that is the appropriate comparison with confirmed cases when calculating the share of tests that are positive.

Some countries, however, do include positive antibody tests in their figures for confirmed cases. Our testing figures – which exclude antibody tests – are not an appropriate comparison in these instances: on this basis there could be more cases than tests, which is not possible.

For this reason, we do not calculate the positive rate or number of tests per confirmed case for countries where we are aware of antibody tests being used for case confirmation. We also do not show them on scatter charts comparing the number of tests and confirmed cases.

Do you publish data on antibody tests?

We don’t publish data on antibody tests for now. We may publish a new dataset showing figures specifically on antibody tests, if more countries adopt systematic antibody testing strategies.

Do your figures capture people who have been tested repeatedly?

For the majority of countries in our dataset, figures relate to the number of tests performed. Where people are tested multiple times, each test will be counted individually.

Where data relate to the number of people tested however, there is the additional question as to whether figures relate to the number of new people tested (people that have never received at test at all in the past), or the number of rounds of testing that individuals have undergone – for example, whether an individual tested in March (with one or more tests to confirm their infection status at that point in time) is then counted again upon being tested in September.

Counting only new people tested is problematic in that it understates the amount of testing taking place. Comparing such figures with the number of confirmed cases is then misleading – for example it would make the positive rate appear higher than it really is.

For all countries reporting data on the number of people tested, we have tried to confirm whether or not repeat testers are counted. This information is provided in the detailed source descriptions we provide for each individual country. For some countries we have not yet been able to clarify this issue.

Do you rely on any non-official sources?

For a small number of countries where data collection from the original official source is prohibitively difficult, we rely on non-official repositories of this official data.

To monitor the ongoing reliability of these non-official repositories, we employ an audit process. Each day three observations are randomly drawn out of all observations in the dataset that have been obtained via such sources. For each selected observation, the recorded figure is manually checked against the direct official channel from which the repository purports to obtain the data. The sampling rate means that each third-party source we make use of is checked around once a week. Given that any discrepancies with official channels are likely to be clustered within particular sources, this provides a high degree of quality control on these sources on a timely basis.

Where any discrepancies are noticed, we switch sources (for the entire time series) to either a different repository or to manual data collection directly from the official channel.

Does your data reflect retrospective updates made by the source?

Due to the efforts to produce timely data, official testing figures are subject to frequent retrospective revisions. This can occur for instance where some laboratories have longer reporting delays than others, and previously uncounted tests are then subsequently included.

A number of the sources our database relies on provide a full updated time series. In these cases, such retrospective revisions pose no problem: our full series will reflect the source’s latest information for how many tests occurred on each day.8

However, many of the sources we rely on only provide a daily ‘snapshot’ of the current total figure. In these cases, such retrospective revisions are reflected in our time series according to the day the revision is made, and not when the revised tests actually occurred. This is a distortion of the true trend in testing.

In particular, the figures for daily new tests that we derive from such sources can appear more volatile that they are in reality. In extreme cases, where retrospective revisions are large enough to cause a fall in the reported cumulative number of tests from one day to the next, our series will show a negative number of daily new tests.

For this reason, the rolling average generally provides a more reliable picture than raw daily testing figures.

Acknowledgements

In this section

We would like to acknowledge and thank a number of people in the development of this work: Carl Bergstrom, Bernadeta Dadonaite, Natalie Dean, Joel Hellewell, Jason Hendry, Adam Kucharski, Moritz Kraemer and Eric Topol for their very helpful and detailed comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this work. Tom Chivers we would like to thank for his editorial review and feedback.

And we would like to thank the many hundreds of readers who give us feedback on this work every day. Your feedback is what allows us to continuously clarify and improve it. We very much appreciate you taking the time to write. We cannot respond to every message we receive, but we do read all feedback and aim to take the many helpful ideas into account. Thank you all.