With low test rates, COVID-19 spreads in shadows… NYC Cases Suddenly Double

Paris (AFP) – The lack of available tests for COVID-19 means the world is effectively fighting the pandemic blind and may not know the true extent of infection for months if not years, experts said Thursday.

Because COVID-19 is so infectious — roughly 2.5 times that of the common cold — but not everyone presents symptoms, the figure of more than 200,000 confirmed cases tells only a fraction of the story.

On Tuesday the British government conceded it was likely there were already more than 55,000 COVID-19 infections in the country, far higher than the more than 2,600 confirmed cases so far.

Jerry Shaman, a diseases expert at the University of Columbia, told AFP it was “likely” that developed nations are identifying between one in five and one in 10 true infections.

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Shaman said there was a variety of reasons, including “test availability, capacity, ignorance (not taking the issue seriously), arrogance (national pride).”


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