Background The weekend effect has been extensively observed for different diseases and countries and recognized as a fact but without obvious causes. Objectives In this paper we first aimed at investigating the existence of a periodicity in the death count due to Covid-19, and second, at opening the discussion concerning the reality of this effect in this particular context. Methods Daily statistics of deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic were subjected to a discrete Fourier transform spectral analysis for France and the world, over the periods from March 29 to May 16, 2020 and from January 22 to May 18, 2020 respectively. Results In both cases, a frequency peak of one harmonic corresponding to a period of 7.11 days was observed for France and the world. In France, this weekly frequency corresponds to a decrease in deaths every Sunday, whereas for the world the systematic decrease is shifted on average by 1.5 days and corresponds to Saturday or Friday. Conclusion At the world scale and for the epidemic period we confirm the existence of a consecutive weekend effect in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Collection : COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv