Updated: Apr 3, 2020
More than 50% of all cases worldwide have been reported in the past week.
- The first 100,000 cases took 3 months, the most recent 300,000 cases happened in 5 days. The total amount of cases is 838,000, and >1M is predicted by this weekend. Though these numbers are serious, we are also in many areas of the world, reaching the top of the curve. This means we’re going to see the increase in case numbers start to come down in the next 3-4 weeks.
- Cases are defined differently throughout the world and are dependent on the availability of testing. Testing in Europe and the US especially are increasing in capacity daily, so the number of positive tests will increase, not only due to more infection but also because we are testing more people.
- Cases in Europe ~416,000, Cases in US ~180,000
- Deaths worldwide ~41,000, Europe ~27,000, US ~3,500
When looking at the data, remember that:
- “Cases” are defined differently around the world and are heavily dependent on the availability and accuracy of testing.
- Testing programs in the US and Europe are increasing in capacity daily, so the number of positive tests is going to increase in a manner not directly related to the number of actual cases.
- There is also a growing issue with false-negative testing. In order to protect testers, many locations have started doing throat swabs which have a much higher false-negative rate but do not generate as much coughing and sneezing.
- Also, remember that deaths are a lagging indicator of epidemic control in any given area, so by the time a peak is seen in death, that region is already 2 weeks into decreased infections.
- For now, the best way to track epidemic is new hospital admissions for “influenza-like illnesses” (ILIs), but this is not easily available nor widely published.
- Hong Kong cases peaked on March 18th
- Singapore cases appear to have peaked around March 26th
- Korea cases in isolation peaked on March 11th and have seen a steady decline since.
- Taiwan cases are a bit more up and down but peaked around March 18th.
- In all 4 countries, the time from the most rapid run-up to being on a downward slope is about 3 weeks.
- Italy is starting to reach the top of the curve: Doubling of cases down from every three days to every week. With this, we will probably see Italy peak over next week and then start to decline.
- Spain is still on the steepest part of the curve, doubling every 2.5 days.
- Still on the upward side of the epidemic curve, with cases doubling every 2.5 days.
- The Greater NY metro area is about half of all cases and deaths in the US
- Many authorities, including the CDC, recommend no travel to the NY area
Various areas will like peak in the US and Europe beginning in early April and extending to early to mid-May.
As locations pass their local peaks, reopening of the economy will happen in a controlled and closely monitored manner. Expect strong social distancing to remain in place including the well-known 6’ guideline. Our efforts to keep down population densities in both semi-public and public spaces including a moratorium on major events will continue.