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Sunday, August 23, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
The last few weeks saw a gradual decline in cases but now they, at first glance, appear to be increasing. People are already discussing a second wave. I thought so at first as well but looking at the numbers now I am not sure if it is a significant trend.
The issue is the Eid Al-Adha holiday, which started on July 31st. If we look at the daily case rate in Qatar over the last three weeks, starting at July 23rd:
then it's the Eid break
then Eid break is over
There's definitely an increase from the 9th-13th when you compare it to the lowest segment, during Eid, but given that the lowest numbers happen to occur during a major holiday makes me wonder if the fact that it was a holiday explains the drop in cases. People might have been less inclined to go for testing, maybe contact tracing efforts slowed down as staff were on holiday, who knows. It does seem like an odd coincidence though.
The last five days are comparable to mid-late July so it might be that Qatar is just continuing on its curve flattening. If you ignore the Eid numbers it seems reasonably consistent.
Now in earlier blog posts I noted my concern that the Eid holiday would result in an increase in cases as people socialized over the holiday. It is now 10 days after the last Eid day so an increase in cases should be seen now. That might account for the slight increase we are seeing. If that's all the increase then it is a lot better than I thought it could be, I was worried post-Eid we would see a big spike. Today looks pretty good so there might not be a spike after all.