How ECDC collects and processes COVID-19 data

Worldwide - weekly reporting

Every week a team of epidemiologists screen up to 400 relevant sources to collect the latest figures on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths reported worldwide for publication every Thursday. The data screening is followed by ECDC’s standard epidemic intelligence process where every single data entry is validated and documented in an ECDC database. An extract of this database, completed with up-to-date figures and data visualisations, is then shared on the ECDC website, ensuring maximum level of transparency.

The epidemic intelligence team screens up to 400 sources to collect COVID-19 data from 196 countries. Sources include official Ministries of Health websites (43% of the total number of sources), public health institutes (9%), other national authorities (Ministries of Social Services and Welfare, governments, Prime Minister cabinets, cabinets of ministries, health statistics and official response teams) (6%), World Health Organization (2%), and official dashboards and interactive maps from national and international institutions (10%). In addition, ECDC screens official social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Telegram from national authorities which include Ministries of Health (28%) and other official sources (e.g. official media outlets) (2%). Several media and social media sources are screened to gather additional information which can be validated with the official sources previously mentioned. For EU/EEA countries, data submitted by Members States to The European Surveillance System (TESSy) is the primary source for weekly COVID-19 data on cases and deaths. Only cases and deaths reported by the national and regional competent authorities from the listed countries and territories  are aggregated in our database.

To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data, the process is constantly refined. This helps in monitoring and interpreting the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic not only in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), but also worldwide.

Disclaimer: National updates are published at different times and in different time zones. This, and the time ECDC needs to process these data, might lead to discrepancies between the national numbers and the numbers published by ECDC. Users are advised to use all data with caution and awareness of their limitations. Data are subject to retrospective corrections; corrected datasets are released as soon as processing of updated national data has been completed.

EU/EEA countries - daily reporting

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, ECDC’s Epidemic Intelligence team has collected the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, based on reports from health authorities worldwide. This comprehensive and systematic process was carried out on a daily basis until 14/12/2020.
See the discontinued daily dataset.

From 11 March 2021, ECDC’s Epidemic Intelligence team will again publish the daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths for EU and EEA countries.

This comprehensive and systematic process is carried out on a daily basis. To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data, this process is constantly refined.

Every day between 8.00 and 10.00 CET, a team of epidemiologists screen up to 100 relevant sources to collect the latest data. The data screening is followed by ECDC’s standard epidemic intelligence process where every single data entry is validated and documented in an ECDC database. An extract of this database, completed with up-to-date figures and data visualisations, is then shared on the ECDC website, ensuring maximum level of transparency. 

ECDC receives regular updates from EU/EEA countries through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS), the European Surveillance System (TESSy), the World Health Organization (WHO) and email exchanges with other international stakeholders. This information is complemented by screening up to 100 sources every day to collect COVID-19 figures from 30 EU and EEA countries. Only cases and deaths reported by the national and regional competent authorities from these countries and territories are aggregated in our database. The purpose of this daily database is to have the most timely data available provided by official relevant sources. Please be aware that there might be discrepancies with the weekly data for EU and EEA countries as this comes primarily from TESSy.

Disclaimer: National updates are published at different times and in different time zones. This, and the time ECDC needs to process these data, might lead to discrepancies between the national numbers and the numbers published by ECDC. Users are advised to use all data with caution and awareness of their limitations. Data are subject to retrospective corrections; corrected datasets are released as soon as processing of updated national data has been completed