Viral Economics – Latest Coronavirus Trends
Author: Alex Weinreb
1) For the first ten days after the intensive closures of offices and restaurants began on March 15, the daily increase in the number of confirmed cases was relatively stable, usually in the 25-30% range (thick orange line). In the last week, the pace of growth has slowed significantly, remaining below 15% in 5 of the last 6 days.
2) Coronavirus testing has increased dramatically over the last few weeks (the green line). Until March 26, that increase was associated with a rising percentage of positive tests (the grey line). Since then, the percentage of positive tests has fallen. This emerging gap between the two lines is important because it suggests that the reduction in rate of infection seen in the last graph is occurring in spite of a continued rise in testing.
3) Here we see overall trends in the number of active cases, recoveries, and deaths. Note that the ratio of recoveries to deaths is around 10:1. That is significantly higher than the equivalent ratio in most other OECD countries.
4) Another way to look at the trajectory of the epidemic is to estimate the ratio of new confirmed cases to new confirmed recoveries. During the 20s of March there was a rapid expansion in confirmed cases—in part due to the rapid rise in testing. At the same time, the epidemic was still young, so not many confirmed cases were officially reaching a stage of recovery. That led to ratios of around 50 new cases for every recovery. Over the last few days, this ratio has dropped significantly. It is now around 15, which is still too high. But it is pointing in the right direction.
5) A more worrying sign of looming mortality from coronavirus can be seen in the relationship between the number of people currently on respirators (the blue line), and the number of deaths (the red bloc). Here we see that the rise in the latter appears to mirror the former, with a lag of between a week and 10 days. That’s worrying because the blue line is continuing to rise.
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