Can anyone explain to me how Italy was able to announce 651 COVID-19 deaths at 5:30 PM local time? How does the toll work? Isn't a "daily death toll" supposed to be from midnight to midnight? Best Regards

  • Do they claim it's a daily death toll? Can you add references? – JJJ Mar 23 '20 at 1:56
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    "Isn't a "daily death toll" supposed to be from midnight to midnight ?" No. 3 PM to 3 PM is also a daily toll. – cpast Mar 23 '20 at 2:19

Official infection and death numbers tend to rely on reports accumulated through several layers of bureaucracy, often with daily reports at several levels. A hospital reports the numbers to the city administration, they are added up and sent to the province, and those are added up and sent to the national level. So the actual reporting period is not the day when the statistic was published, it is when the base data was collected. That tends to be in the fine print, what news and spokespeople care about is the relative change from the previous reporting period.

You can find the tracker from Johns Hopkins which tends to exceed official national figures because they take local statements and add them up in realtime, rather than waiting for the official reports to arrive. As of this writing, the CDC says there are 15k cases in the US whike Johns Hopkins says 35k cases; a closer look at the CDC site shows that they didn't update over the weekend ...

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    Cheers for the great answer. So, is it possible that when they say "x died on march 21", it can mean that they actually died on March 20, but that the statistics came only recently ? – Mintou Mar 23 '20 at 11:04
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    @Mintou, the exact statement would be "x new deaths were reported to us between the March 20th deadline and the March 21th deadline." But saying "today" is so much easier in a press release. – o.m. Mar 23 '20 at 11:16

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