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Coronavirus: Signs of peaks in the West

Posted By Jo Nova On March 31, 2020 @ 2:12 am In Global Warming,Microbiology | Comments Disabled

Good. Real signs of the flattening of new daily cases of Coronavirus or #CCPVirus in Italy, and possibly in Spain. Instead, ponder that if Italy didn’t slow the spread the 6,500 new cases on March 21 could have become 17,000 new cases every day by now.

Italy appears to have peaked — starting on March 21st — but may need to stop keeping sick people at home

On March 9th when Italy had about 9,000 cases in total, and 500 deaths, the government declared a quarantine across the whole nation. By March 11 everything that could be shut down, was. These changes appear, finally, to have stopped the exponential growth in new cases about 10 days later. But even after three weeks of lockdown there are still 5000 new people getting infected every day. One professor, Andrew Chrisanti, thinks it is because they are telling infected people to stay home instead of isolating them from their families. Presumably if Italians live in larger extended families, they must get the infected out of homes.

“In our opinion, the infections are happening at home.” Crisanti helped coordinate the coronavirus response in Italy’s affluent northeastern region of Veneto, where blanket testing was introduced at the start of Italy’s outbreak in the second half of February. That helped identify cases and limit contagion much more successfully than in the neighboring Lombardy region where only people with severe symptoms are tested, and only in hospitals.

Lombardy has since been hit with 6,360 registered coronavirus deaths, far more than any other Italian region, whereas Veneto has recorded just 392 fatalities. However, the Lombardy outbreak was much bigger from the outset. – Stefano Bernabi, Reuters

In the three weeks since the nationwide quarantine was called, the total cases expanded from 9,000 to 100,000, and deaths increased from 500 to 10,000.

Numbers and graphs from Worldmeter

Spain — may be peaking now.

Too early to tell.

Peaking, Daily New Cases, Coronavirus, graphs, Germany.



France is still rising

Peaking, Daily New Cases, Coronavirus, graphs, USA, UK, Australia.



The UK is expecting numbers to rise rapidly in the next two weeks

“It was announced today one in four NHS doctors are off work sick or in isolation. Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said about 25 per cent of the doctor workforce is off, either with coronavirus or because a family member or housemate is ill.”

Peaking, Daily New Cases, Coronavirus, graphs, UK.



USA — 20,000 new infections a day — growing 16% a day


This is likely a real plateau, but due to slowing down international arrivals — it may be temporary. Community spread could still take off in the next few weeks. Since we aren’t testing “out there” we don’t know. And with 900 House Parties in Brisbane on the weekend (that we know of) the virus might be quietly partying too.

Thanks to some luck, Australia has closed borders, mandatory quarantine, mostly closed schools, and a lot of people are staying home, so perhaps the toll won’t rise further. Watch this space. In this case luck means –  we’re lucky it’s not winter. We’re lucky those infected are in younger age groups so the death rate is lower. Mostly we’re lucky we could learn some harsh lessons from Italy, Spain and the rest of the world first, and still get away with being unprepared and incompetent.

Now is not the time to lift the restrictions. But here’s hoping we don’t need them for too many weeks.

Peaking, Daily New Cases, Coronavirus, graphs, Spain.


There always a lag

After any policy change, the true rate of infections slows straight away, but there is a lag of  1- 14 days until that shows up in cases. No matter how much testing we do the lag can only shrink a little, because it’s hard to detect a virus during the incubation period, and without random testing there is also a lag until the person turns up for a test, and then gets results. Hence any flattening we see now is still likely due to actions taken 1 – 2 weeks ago.

Some commentators are watching the death rates, but that lag is even longer — more like 2 – 3 weeks later.

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