Despite some negative headlines over the weekend, there have been more signs in recent days that the spread of the coronavirus is slowing down.
When it comes to the number of deaths, it is now above 800, which exceeds the level from SARS in 2003. The death count should slow down with a lag compared to the number of infections.
China is restarting production today following an extended holiday. It could lead to a pick-up in the contagion rate and hence uncertainty will be with us for a while.
We continue to look for a V-shape scenario for Chinese growth with a sharp decline in February and March but a rebound during Q2, see also Research: Vshape scenario for global growth on back of coronavirus, 3 February 2020.
A run-down of the latest data
Infections. The number of infections has increased to 40,536. However, the daily rate of increase has slowed down. The absolute rise in cases was 2,500-3,000 in the past two days, down from 3,500-4,000 five days ago. The number of suspected cases showed the first decline today when it dropped to 23,589 from 28,942 yesterday.
The slowdown in contagion is mostly evident outside the Hubei province (the epicentre of the crisis). Today 416 new cases were reported, the lowest level in two weeks (Chart 2). The daily percent is down to 4% from above 50% two weeks ago. The percent increase in cases outside mainland China is also fairly low at 5%.
Based on the recent developments our models point to a peak around 60,000 cases, 48,000 in Hubei and 12,000 outside Hubei (Chart 4 and 5).
Death rate. The number of deaths rose to 910 today. Of the deaths 96% were in the Hubei province. The total death rate is 2.2% with 2.9% inside the Hubei province and 0.4% outside. Outside mainland China, the death count is still two, leading to a death rate of 0.5%.
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