A Snapshot of COVID-19 Incidence, Hospitalizations, and Mortality from Indirect Survey Data in China in January 2023 (Extended Abstract)
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The estimation of incidence has been a crucial component for monitoring COVID-19 dissemination. This has become challenging when official data are unavailable or insufficiently reliable. Hence, the implementation of efficient, inexpensive, and secure techniques that capture information about epidemic indicators is required. This study aims to provide a snapshot of COVID-19 incidence, hospitalizations, and mortality in different countries in January 2023. To this end, we collected data on the number of cases, deaths, vaccinations, and hospitalizations among the fifteen closest contacts. More precisely, indirect surveys were conducted for 100 respondents from Australia on 19 January 2023, 200 respondents from the UK on 19 January 2023, and 1,000 respondents from China between 18-26 January 2023. To assess the incidence of COVID-19, we used a modified version Network Scale-up Method (NSUM) that fixes the number of people in the contact network (reach). We have compared our estimates with official data from Australia and the UK in order to validate our approach. In the case of the vaccination rate, our approach estimates a very close value to the official data, and in the case of hospitalizations and deaths, the official results are within the confidence interval. Regarding the remaining variables, our approach overestimates the values obtained by the Our World in Data (OWID) platform but is close to the values provided by the Officer of National Statistics (ONS) in the case of the UK (within the confidence interval). In addition, Cronbach's alpha gives values that allow us to conclude that the reliability of the estimates in relation to the consistency of the answers is excellent for the UK and good for Australia. Following the same methodology, we have estimated the same metrics for different Chinese cities and provinces. It is worth noting that this approach allows quick estimates to be made with a reduced number of surveys to achieve a wide population coverage, preserving the privacy of the participants.