Next Two Weeks Will Show if We Have Global Pandemic Coronavirus

“The next two weeks are really critical to understand what’s been happening,” said Benjamin Cowling, head of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong. We will see if coronavirus has outbreaks in other countries.

China Boosts Anti-coronavirus Funding

China said it’s spent 31.55 billion yuan (US$5 billion) of the 71.85 billion yuan (US$10 billion) allocated to fight the outbreak, according to Xinhua, which cited Finance Minister Liu Kun. China authorities will make moves to support bringing the epidemic under control, and urged local and regional officials to look out for small businesses that have been hurt.

China’s central bank will provide the first batch of special re-lending funds for combating the coronavirus on Monday, and will offer the facility weekly to banks later this month.

Vast Underestimation of Coronavirus

Currently, the true number of people exposed to the 2019-nCoV virus in Wuhan “may be vastly underestimated,” Manuel Battegay and colleagues at the University of Basel in Switzerland said in a study published Friday. “With a focus on thousands of serious cases, mild or asymptomatic courses that possibly account for the bulk of the 2019-nCoV infections might remain largely unrecognized, in particular during the influenza season.”

Authorities in China have counted more than 40,000 cases — of which more than 900 have been fatal — over the past two months.

Official statistics are likely a “severe underestimate of the total,” Battegay and colleagues said, adding that “accounting for this underestimate will decrease the case fatality rate.”

In the first 17,000 or so cases, about 82% are mild, 15% severe and 3% critical, the WHO said Friday. Of 138 patients admitted to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in the first four weeks of January, 26% were placed in intensive care and 4.3% died, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association published Friday found.

The new coronavirus might have infected at least 500,000 people in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the global outbreak, by the time it peaks in coming weeks. But most of those people won’t know it.

The Wuhan megacity, where the so-called 2019-nCoV virus emerged late last year, has been locked down since Jan. 23. This restricted the movement of 11 million people. Recent trends in reported cases in Wuhan broadly support the preliminary mathematical modeling the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is using to predict the epidemic’s transmission dynamics.

4 thoughts on “Next Two Weeks Will Show if We Have Global Pandemic Coronavirus”

  1. I’ve been tracking the global numbers on novel coronavirus.

    Initially, daily new cases reported were growing on a fast exponential. Then China finally started shutting things down, and daily new cases reported fell to a slower exponential. The past week the reported daily new cases suddenly went roughly linear, even falling somewhat.

    Reported recoveries per day has also increased roughly exponentially, though far lagging new cases.

    Meanwhile, the deaths per day was pretty consistently increasing roughly *linearly*.

    No new treatments have been found – so shouldn’t daily number of deaths have increased exponentially, same as new cases and recoveries, with some delay?

  2. One new US victim today – an evacuee who was in quarantine, initially tested negative, but now has fallen ill.

    The article mentions that the others who were quarantined with this person will be released today. No mention of whether they were kept isolated from the infected person.

    The same article mentions 170 quarantined at Miramar since last week, with 7 showing possible symptoms – and some of that same 170 who tested negative (but see above case) are being released already, despite clearly having been exposed to potential victims during their flight last week.

  3. You never know which asymptomatic cases might become symptomatic until much later. And they are giving the numbers of how many in what stage. Less accurate with asymptomatic obviously. You can’t just test evryone all at once. And if they are asymptomatic, you need some reason to be testing them…like coming into contact with someone who has it, or working as a health worker.

  4. The same could be said about most epidemics and pandemics. No one really knows how many people become exposed but are not symptomatic. Perhaps we should standardize how we talk about fatality rates and calculate it based on deaths per confirmed and symptomatic cases rather than just “confirmed positive”.

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