In comparing Sri Lanka’s trajectory with that of Italy, the GMOA makes reference to the first ‘local’ case detected. This is a standard distinction made in counting cases, where those that contracted the virus outside the country and brought it in are distinguished as ‘imported’ cases, whereas ‘local’ cases are those that contracted it in the country.
Exhibit 1 (given on page 5) shows the daily trajectory in the number of local cases for Sri Lanka and Italy. It shows Sri Lanka on a lower trajectory compared to Italy on the day that the GMOA made its statement. The mistake in the GMOA data arises, possibly, from either getting the date of the first local case wrong, or incorrectly using Italy’s imported Case 3 as the first local case. Thereby the GMOA arrives at an incorrect conclusion about relative growth of case detection in Sri Lanka, in relation to Italy in the first 7 days.
Therefore, we classify the GMOA’s first claim as FALSE.
This is Part 1 of a two-part analysis based on the GMOA’s statement. The extended analysis shows (i) Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 case detection growth relative to the rest of the world and (ii) when Sri Lankan cases could peak, based on initial epidemiological projections by Verité Research. Please see Part 2 on the page 5 for the detailed analysis and supporting exhibits.
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