Pandemic Data Quality Modelling: A Bayesian Approach
Sunday 23rd April 2023
Ferrari, L.; Manzi, G.; Micheletti, A.; Nicolussi, F.; Salini, S.
When pandemics like COVID-19 spread around the world, the rapidly evolving situation compels officials and executives to take prompt decisions and adapt policies depending on the current state of the disease. In this context, it is crucial for policymakers to have always a firm grasp on what is the current state of the pandemic, and to envision how the number of infections and possible deaths is going to evolve over the next weeks. However, as in many other situations involving compulsory registration of sensitive data from multiple collectors, cases might be reported with errors, often with delays deferring an up-to-date view of the state of things. Errors in collecting new cases affect the overall mortality, resulting in excess deaths reported by official statistics only months later. In this paper, we provide tools for evaluating the quality of pandemic mortality data. We accomplish this through a Bayesian approach accounting for the excess mortality pandemics might bring with respect to the normal level of mortality in the population.