Coronavirus testing is virtually nonexistent in some poor countries

Coronavirus testing is barely scratching the surface in much of the developing world.

Americans are more than 200 times as likely to have been tested as people in countries like Nigeria and Somalia, according to data compiled by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The standard way to see if enough testing is being conducted is to see how many tests come back positive. Big proportions of tests are coming back positive in poorer countries like:

  • Somalia (45%)
  • Afghanistan (30%)
  • Chad (29%)
  • Mexico (29%)

Compare this with the 15% positive rate in the US and 6% in Germany and these rates suggests many cases remain undetected in these poorer countries.

You’ve seen how difficult it was to get testing going here, so imagine what it’s like in a country that’s much poorer with much weaker state infrastructure and much weaker science infrastructure.

David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee