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Farhadi, N and Lahooti, H (2022)

Forensic Analysis of COVID-19 Data from 198 Countries Two Years after the Pandemic Outbreak

COVID 2(4), pp. 472-484.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.3390/covid2040034

Abstract: The availability of accurate information has proved fundamental to managing health crises. This research examined pandemic data provided by 198 countries worldwide two years after the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. We compiled and reevaluated the consistency of daily COVID-19 infections with Benford’s Law. It is commonly accepted that the distribution of the leading digits of pandemic data should conform to Newcomb-Benford’s expected frequencies. Consistency with the law of leading digits might be an indicator of data reliability. Our analysis shows that most countries have disseminated partially reliable data over 24 months. The United States, Israel, and Spain spread the most consistent COVID-19 data with the law. In line with previous findings, Belarus, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Pakistan, and Chile published questionable epidemic data. Against this trend, 45 percent of countries worldwide appeared to demonstrate significant BL conformity. Our measures of Benfordness were moderately correlated with the Johns Hopkins Global Health Security Index, suggesting that the conformity to Benford’s law may also depend on national health care policies and practices. Our findings might be of particular importance to policymakers and researchers around the world.

@Article{, AUTHOR = {Farhadi, Noah and Lahooti, Hooshang}, TITLE = {Forensic Analysis of COVID-19 Data from 198 Countries Two Years after the Pandemic Outbreak}, JOURNAL = {COVID}, VOLUME = {2}, YEAR = {2022}, NUMBER = {4}, PAGES = {472--484}, URL = {}, ISSN = {2673-8112}, DOI = {10.3390/covid2040034}, }

Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): Medical Sciences