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Confronting COVID-19 Myths: Morbidity and Mortality


  • Jelnov, Pavel


COVID-19 mystery feeds the belief that the reported morbidity rates are not related to the true ones and that large parts of the population are already infected, the virus is not very dangerous, and the lockdown is unnecessary. Yet one observes two very strong correlations that disprove this belief. The cross-country correlation between log of tests and log of reported cases (per capita) is 0.87 and the correlation between log of reported cases and log of reported deaths (per capita) is 0.89. Using these correlations, I suggest that the infection rate in no country is higher than 10%. Furthermore, I suggest that the mortality from COVID-19 is at least 0.4%.

Suggested Citation

  • Jelnov, Pavel, 2020. "Confronting COVID-19 Myths: Morbidity and Mortality," GLO Discussion Paper Series 516, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:516

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    Cited by:

    1. Michał Wielechowski & Katarzyna Czech & Łukasz Grzęda, 2020. "Decline in Mobility: Public Transport in Poland in the time of the COVID-19 Pandemic," Economies, MDPI, vol. 8(4), pages 1-24, September.
    2. Klaus F. Zimmermann & Gokhan Karabulut & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Asli Cansin Doker, 2020. "Inter‐country distancing, globalisation and the coronavirus pandemic," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(6), pages 1484-1498, June.
    3. Naudé, Wim, 2020. "Entrepreneurial Recovery from COVID-19: Decentralization, Democratization, Demand, Distribution, and Demography," GLO Discussion Paper Series 631, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Nanath, Krishnadas & Balasubramanian, Sreejith & Shukla, Vinaya & Islam, Nazrul & Kaitheri, Supriya, 2022. "Developing a mental health index using a machine learning approach: Assessing the impact of mobility and lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).

    More about this item


    COVID-19 morbidity; COVID-19 mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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