COVID-19 Nepal: Sept. 15 Status Update

I first read about the Government of Nepal’s intention to reduce the number of coronavirus tests in the country the morning of September 15, 2020. After tweeting the article by The Record (see below), that afternoon, I went on to make a series of tweets making a data-based argument for why that is the wrong decision.

On the outset, I want to draw your attention to the fact that Nepal’s data about and related to COVID-19 is still limited, haphazard, and to some extent random.

Regardless, reproduced below, with some minor corrections, please find the content of the tweet thread I shared on September 15. I preserved the format of the tweets, hence the appearance, as well as the language. (I opted to do this — over embedding the tweets — for ease of viewing the charts. Please don’t mind the hastags and the language!)

#Nepal #COVID19 Update:

So, in our fight against d #coronavirus #pandemic, our gov. has decided to reduce #PCRtests as a policy going forward.

Here’s a #databased argument for why that’s a BAD idea.
D charts below show d patterns in PCR tests & cases. #COVID19Nepal #dataviz

Notice the pattern in cases parallels tests until 3rd week of July (as expected) when #lockdown 1.0 was lifted. Then pattern in cases is to just keep rising even as test numbers generally decline from Aug. 21 (img 1).

Pattern in 7-day average confirms that (image 2). #Nepal #COVID

Another indicator for why reducing or even maintaining d same test rate going forward is BAD.

Even while there’s been a general decrease in test nos. since Aug. 21 (red trend line), #PositivityRate continues to trend up (blue trend line).

5% is BAD! #Nepal #COVID19Nepal

Yet another indicator for why reducing our testing rate is BAD news.

#DetectionRate has continued to trend up (blue trend line). If we continue reducing our testing rate (red trend line), we won’t detect as many cases as we should for effective #mitigation. #Nepal #COVID19

Finally, no of tests conducted per confirmed +ive case has been on a downward trend from d 3rd week of July. D last 4 days, it dropped below 10, which is BAD news!!

BAD news b/c that means we are NOT conducting enough tests & GoN has decided to REDUCE d no. of tests! #Nepal

The following tweet was added not long after completing the thread.

The following, a retweet, was added the following day.

.Yesterday [Sept. 15] was pretty horrible.

The results however were NOT part of the thread above. So here they are.

#Nepal #COVID #COVId19 #COVID19Nepal

#Nepal #COVID19 update:

Horrible numbers yesterday (inside red rectangle). Here’s a comparison to d preceding day’s:

Change in test no.: -4.6%
Change in cases: +24.7%
#DetectionRate: ~1.5x (141)
Tests/+ve case: -2
#PositivityRate: ~1.5x (14.1)


What do you think?


(If interested in other blog post about the status of COVID-19 in Nepal, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)


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