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The True Infection Rate (TIR) in the whole population of each country and the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are unknown although they are important parameters. We devised a simple method to infer TIR and IFR based on the open data. The prevalence rate of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests among the population (Examination Rate; ER) and the positive rate of PCR tests (Infection Rate; IR) for 66 countries were picked up at a website 5 times from April 10th to June 13th, 2020, and the trajectory of each country was drawn over the IR vs. ER plot. IR and ER showed a strong negative correlation for some countries, and TIR was estimated by extrapolating the regression line when the correlation coefficient was between -0.99 and -1. True/Identified Case Ratio (TICR) and IFR were also calculated using the estimated TIR. The estimated TIR well coincided with local antibody surveys. Estimated IFR took on a wide range of values up to 10%: generally high in the Western countries. The estimated IFR of Singapore was very low (0.018%), which may be related to the reported gene mutation causing the attenuation of the viral virulence.

Original publication




Journal article


Revista Espanola de Cardiologia

Publication Date





524.e1 - 524.e69