Corona: New number error on RKI – those who have recovered are sometimes counted twice – health

What do we really know for sure about the infection process in Germany?

Two years of pandemic – that means: two years Corona talwho determines our everyday life and decides whether we can go to a restaurant, to a concert or to the gym.

But the longer the pandemic lasts, the more inaccurate the corona numbers become – and are now only pure estimates that hardly reflect the actual situation!

BILD explains what has now only been estimated, what number of unannounced cases can be expected, and where RKI itself cheats with the figures.

Reported new infections are “largely useless”

When it comes to new infections, it has been known for a long time: here only estimates are made. The authorities can no longer keep up with reporting the cases, fewer and fewer tests are being done, and the number of unreported cases is growing and growing.

Statistician Prof. Christian Hesse from the University of Stuttgart on PICTURE: “The disruptive and delayed reporting chains and the declining test discipline in the population have now reached such a level that according to the latest RKI figures only 1.2 million PCR tests are carried out. out per. recorded week compared to almost twice as many weekly tests in mid-February. “

RKI itself writes in current weekly report Nevertheless, the available data would allow a “reliable assessment of the overall development of the epidemiological situation”, but the statistician’s assessment is different: according to Hesse, the “currently reported new infections and occurrences are practically useless.”

He estimates that the actual number of cases is much higher: “The infection situation can be seen much more accurately from the number of deaths associated with Covid-19. From the death dates, the number of infections can be calculated back,” says Hesse. “The real world is expected to be around 1,000 instead of the 639.5 reported on May 2. “

Those who have recovered are valued – and counted twice!

If it is no longer clear how many people are infected, another important figure will also become worthless: the number of people who have become healthy, which should help to express the existing immunity of the population, is also only an estimate. An RKI spokeswoman for PICTURE: “The number of those who have survived the acute infection (” recovered “) is estimated.”

The immunity of the population is one of the arguments used this week to shorten the quarantine period.

Prof.  Dr.  Christian Hesse, Head of the Department of Mathematical Statistics at the University of StuttgartFoto: Miina Jung

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Prof. Dr. Christian Hesse, Head of the Department of Mathematical Statistics at the University of StuttgartPhoto: Miina Jung

RKI currently says that almost 25 million people have recovered. However, this number is cheated because: The algorithm used for the estimate does not distinguish between whether a healed person may have already had another corona infection. The RKI spokeswoman confirms: “If someone gets sick twice, the other illness is counted as well and is then also included in the above estimates of those who have recovered.”

A look at England shows how this double count can falsify the numbers: Here, the Ministry of Health collects data from the population every month by random sampling to assess factors such as the number of unreported infections. Here it turned out: two thirds of the people who were infected with omicron had been infected before!

But how many people in Germany are actually immune – and has herd immunity reached after two years of the pandemic? Statistics Hesse: “In addition to the 24.8 million confirmed infections, an unreported number must be added that is at least as high, suggesting about 50 to 55 million infected people. But due to the slow vaccination campaign and the declining protective effect of vaccination over time, only about three-quarters of the population can currently be considered immunized. ”

Corona numbers are “gigantic disaster”

Hesse is not the only statistician who is harsh on the German coronatal: statistician Prof. Dr. Ralf Münnich (58) from the German statistical company (DStatG) criticized the German handling of data in BILD.

Looking back on the last two years, he said, “Corona was a huge disaster.” In addition to the lack of digitization, he criticizes the fact that there are no samples in Germany as in the UK. “The asymptomatic cases have largely not been recorded at all, so additional random samples would have been taken to reasonably represent the number of unreported cases.”

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