As world coronavirus cases reached 1.5 million on April 8, Johns Hopkins University reported that over 300,000 recoveries have been confirmed across the globe.
But which countries are seeing the highest recovery rates, and which are seeing the least?
China, the first country to report cases of the coronavirus, has the highest recovery rate with nearly 83,000 confirmed cases and over 77,000 confirmed recoveries as of April 8, according to Johns Hopkins’ data.
By contrast, the United States, which has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the world at nearly 420,000, has only about 23,000 reported recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins’ data.
Why the difference in recoveries?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers criteria on its website for what qualifies as a recovery and when someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus can stop self-isolating. Although the criteria is different based on whether someone has been tested, McClatchy reported.
Someone who tested positive for coronavirus is considered to have recovered if they do not have a fever without the help of medicine, improved “respiratory symptoms” and “two negative COVID-19 tests in a row,” McClatchy reported.
If someone has not tested positive for coronavirus but has symptoms, they are considered a recovery when they have no fever for three days, improved respiratory symptoms and no symptoms 72 hours after the onset of symptoms, according to the CDC.
But the group that does not get tested potentially skews the data considering they were never counted among confirmed cases or confirmed recoveries, U.S. News & World Report reported. In the U.S., it may be due to the lack of testing, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“The focus has been on getting resources to help the people who are really sick and really need it — not on repeating testing and making sure people are getting better,” Casey Kelley, a health professional from Northwestern University’s School of Medicine, told the publication.
False positive and negative tests also potentially skew the data, U.S. News reported. The CDC distributed faulty diagnostic tests back in February, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“Our testing is unfortunately misleading in a lot of ways,” Kelley told U.S. News & World Report. “And there’s a lot of errors in the data itself and the collection of it.”