An analysis of the frequency of reporting COVID-19 testing data

In this analysis, we looked retrospectively at the frequency of reporting COVID-19 testing data over the course of the pandemic, to evaluate the readiness of dedicated data systems and processes. Using testing and case data from the FIND COVID-19 test-tracker , for each country we identified a period of 3 months corresponding to the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in that country, and then calculated the average time between updates on testing data, as well as the average number of times each country updated testing data in a month.

Results are presented for a total of 166 countries, disaggregated by income group.

We can see that, even in the height of the pandemic, a high number of countries (45%) in all income groups updated testing data less than once a week, and the frequency of updates decreased with time. The vast majority of the world’s population lives in a country where updates took place less than once per week. Improvement of systems to collect and report testing data is critical in order to implement the targets of actionable frameworks such as the 7-1-7.