Is Scotland’s increased infection level mostly a result of increased testing?

Before trying to answer the question above, it’s worth putting things in perspective:

With 10 times the population, England’s infection rate might be expected to be 270 but it’s 710. With half the population, the infection rate in Wales might be expected to be 14 but it’s 30.

Though recently increased, Scotland’s infection rate remains low.

Returning to the graphs above, while the pattern is not precise, there is evidence there that increases in testing on the 8th to 10th, on the 15th to 18th and on the 21st to 24th July, precede peaks in the numbers tested positive.

This means that the apparent increase in infection level may be less worrying than it seems at first.

Around 30 positives out of 15 000 tests is only 0.2%.

The current official estimate is that only 500 Scots, in total, are infected, out of 5.5 million – 0.009%.

13 thoughts on “Is Scotland’s increased infection level mostly a result of increased testing?

  1. You’ve posed this question before. The answer is most likely NO. Check travelling tabby percent tests positive. Its going up.
    Check travelling tabby New people tested . Its hardly rising. We have to accept that releasing lockdown will cause a rise in infection. Lets hope Test and Protect keeps a lid on it.


    1. In section Testing By Day underneath the graph there are 3 buttons . Middle one percent of tests positive. You need to select People Tested with the slider at the top not tests conducted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Spain new cases 8 july = 343 and rising – impose quarantine
    Spain new cases 20 july 1527 steady – remove quarantine??
    Spain new cases 24 july 2615 re-impose quarantine!
    This surely shows how easily things get out of hand as well as suspect science?(or economics) in decision making.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From one of Devi’s threads, the countries – like Spain – that have gone for a suppression strategy are constantly getting resurgences. Zero Covid strategy I think is the only way to go – but again from what Devi says, it needs England to adopt it too to see us, and Ireland, in the zero-Covid state. England is holding us back, and putting all our lives, and livelihoods, at risk, the faster we get to zero, the faster we can get on with our lives.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. SG seems to have got the quarantine thingy right the first time but then lost their nerve. Boris was axious to avoid quarantine and slow to re-impose.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Instead of focusing on these numbers and trying to stretch it to fit a possible (increased testing) – I think it would be worthwhile to look at what number of positive tests that the trace and protect teams are able to deal with? Because it will be how efficiently they function that determines how quickly we can get to zero-Covid, there will always be pop-ups of the virus, and we need that number down low enough that everyone involved is quarantined as soon as possible (so we know there are no loose infections walking about – that is, zero virus risk) – I’ve been trying to find a number, or estimate for this level, but can’t find anything easily accessible yet – it’ll be in some complex report somewhere no doubt!

    You know, the current number of infections (the approx. 500 number) that are known about should be effectively contained (we hope), so it is the new ones and the ones that we don’t know about that causes the risk of further infection , and are the trace and protect teams able to contain it at the current level? We are always going to get a slight rise in positive tests with every phase of lifting of lockdown – I think that’s inevitable and not something we should consider disaster or in any way a black mark against Scotland – it’s whether our responses are dealing with it effectively, that’s the important part.

    I saw as well the scotgov is going to make a Covid Forecaster – so you can see areas of risk, in an App? Does anyone know anything about this? It would be very useful for taking us to zero Covid, you can tell when you might need extra care, or avoidance, and we can actively help get us there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the links Sam, I had a good rake through them and forgot to get back to you – I just skim read through most of the stuff I could find, mainly statistics, and I couldn’t find an easy answer – I’m sure it will turn up somewhere!


  4. Christina Pagel of the Indi-Sage
    gives a very good summary.
    It is UK wide but the case graph is quite similar to ours in trends and her explanations are excellent.
    She say we should know in a week or two what is really happening.

    But by then if it is real then there will be huge community spread in England.
    Now as Sam has pointed out England has just admitted that 65% of tests were never carried out. It is likely that Scotland can cope with the rise of cases by contact tracing but for how long with an open border as cases in England are bound to rise with open gyms. Perhaps now, the compulsory use of masks in England will be a game changer. If not we will need to close the border.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Fortunately, due to the sharing of information internationally the health services have learned a huge amount about the virus and its treatment during the progress of the pandemic.

    One of the things that is emerging is that many people can be infected but do not show, or, indeed, develop any symptoms and, so have gone about their normal routine, unaware that they are infected.

    With trace and test, more of such people are being traced because they have been identified as contacts and so are tested and shown to be positive. Thus, it is plausible that more testing identifies more infected people. But, this does not necessarily imply that the rate of infection is rising. It might be, but what the test and trace system, via the isolation of asymptomatic people is doing is, over time, reducing the number of infections.


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