A collection of key developments in the fight against COVID-19 (the actual virus is SARS-COV-2), posted throughout the week for those who just want the signal and not the noise. If there’s something you think we should include, sound off in the comments thread attached to the post.
Visit our Wuhan coronavirus status page and learn how to prepare for possible spread to your area. Scenarios, shopping lists, background info, and everything else you need, all in one place.
Previously: The previous day’s key developments post is here.
[9:50 pm] The latest numbers:
#Coronavirus UPDATE Feb 20 8PM EST
-76,214 confirmed cases🌏/11,633 are severe
-2,247 deaths in🇨🇳/ 6:🇵🇭🇭🇰 🇯🇵🇮🇷🇰🇷
-18,327 recovered in: 🇺🇸🇨🇳🇹🇭🇦🇺🇯🇵🇻🇳🇹🇼🇰🇷🇱🇰🇸🇬🇲🇴🇵🇭🇲🇾🇦🇪🇫🇮🇬🇧🇩🇪🇫🇷🇪🇸🇮🇳🇹🇼
-4,922 suspected cases 🇨🇳/ 600+🌏
-27 countries w/1,000+ #COVID19 cases
1/7 Info on #Covid19usa 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/sfKNnLlIbX
— CEDR Digital Corps (@CEDRdigital) February 21, 2020
[9:47 pm] USA today picks up the reinfection thing, but seemingly mostly to debunk. Also the WHO says both eradication and pandemic are still on the table. 75,000 ill, 2,000 deaths, many thousands recovered: Can you get coronavirus twice?
[9:45 pm] Air France one of the first to quantify the coronavirus earnings hit. How much? Oh, just 75% of their operating income.
[9:43 pm] More on the supply chain problems: You can’t make a car with 99% of the parts. Coronavirus could wreck the global auto industry. (Hat tip @Plan_Prep_Live)
[9:43 pm] An really detailed overview of travel restrictions on China due to the virus.
[9:41 pm] I think we pretty much already knew this: Chinese CDC study finds Covid-19 virus to be more contagious than SARS or MERS.
[9:33 pm] This explainer is out-of-date at in spots, but it has a very good overview of basic concepts, acronyms, and the like.
[9:32 pm] Whopping rise in infection at Beijing hospital puts capital on alert. “A central Beijing hospital reported 36 novel coronavirus cases as of Thursday, a sharp increase from nine cases from two weeks earlier, leading many to fear a potential explosion of infection numbers in the capital.”
And remember, Beijing is opening back up and going back to work right now.
[9:29 pm] The CDC’s planned rollout of novel coronavirus testing in five US cities as part of the flu surveillance system hits a snag with testing problems: Problems with CDC coronavirus test delay expanded U.S. screening. The tests for this have been an ongoing challenge, with false negatives and asymptomatic positives where it’s not clear who’s contagious and who isn’t. (Hat tip @Cosmicpixle)
[9:28 pm] More on the theme of this spreading under the radar in Africa, where it could create many more Wuhan type situations in short order: Scientists fear coronavirus spread in countries least able to contain it. “Concerns are rising about the virus’s potential to circulate undetected in Africa and Asia.”
Another one on Africa: The coronavirus is about to hit Africa. Here are the big challenges.
[9:27 pm] The South Korea situation continues to look dire, like they do not have this under control. South Korean city on high alert as coronavirus cases soar at ‘cult’ church. “A 61-year-old woman is believed to have infected dozens of worshippers at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, taking the national total to 82.”
[9:25 pm] Beijing is opening back up, with traffic increasing and shop re-opening. And now China is pushing to re-open factories:
Workers wait for a customized train bound for south China's #Guangdong Province at the platform of a railway station in China's Yunnan Province. The customized train carried some 600 returning workers from Yunnan to Guangdong Province to #resume their work on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/Ia7KqhjXBv
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) February 20, 2020
It seems to me that there’s a binary outcome, here: either China really does have this under control and can afford to relax restrictions, or they do not and they’re making a terrible mistake that will precipitate a much larger crisis in about three weeks.
[9:23 pm] From the “you can’t make this stuff up” files: Coronavirus-infected Americans flown home against CDC’s advice. They were flown back mixed with other passengers who did not know there were any infected people on the plane.
[9:22 pm] There have been more coronavirus cases confirmed in Iran, and responsible press outlets are reporting on the rumors going around that it’s spreading and being covered up by the government there:
6/ Brother of dead coronavirus patient in Qom is a member of Iran's central medical committee. He disputes government account, says his brother was 60, not elderly & had no existing health issues, caught the virus in the streets of Qom. He accuses officials of "cover up."
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) February 20, 2020
[9:09 pm] Axios on how some finance folks are looking for this all to be wrapped up in a tidy little bow by April at the latest, after which there will be a nice post-coronavirus economic boomlet that will provide a tailwind for the administration going into the election. I guess we’ll see how that works out for them. (Hat tip @matthewstoller)
[9:09 pm] More evidence that China’s extraordinary measures at least slowed the spread, & that if this hits your country in a big way you can probably expect some version of China’s extreme travel restrictions and lockdowns to happen to you.
Two key takeaways from our analysis:
– Estimate of ~55% reduction in transmission in Wuhan in late Jan, coinciding with control measures/behaviour change
– Reduction probably didn't bring reproduction number below crucial value of 1 in Jan – it slowed spread, but didn't stop it https://t.co/pbdW72rAkW
— Adam Kucharski (@AdamJKucharski) February 20, 2020
[9:09 pm] This thread on the risks to the markets from the novel coronavirus is the best thing I’ve read all week:
Serious Take: Base case for anyone doing any actual channel checks here should be 2 quarters of severe supply chain disruption. Media and Sell Side dripping out reality on lag because they have to maintain access. Autos, Semis, Travel annual numbers are absurd.
— Dan McMurtrie (@SuperMugatu) February 20, 2020
[9:08 pm] The FBI getting around to taking some steps that many have already taken: FBI has ordered $40,000 in hand sanitizer and face masks ‘in case the coronavirus becomes a pandemic in the United States’
[9:00 pm] The Chinese case definition continues its gyrations, both eroding trust and making it harder to really nail down what the real numbers are. A pair of links: