On 13 Feb, Chinese health authorities announced a jump in COVID-19 cases from nearly 45,000 to almost 60,000 total cases in mainland China. This spike is primarily the result of a change in diagnosis classification. Previously, only laboratory-tested positive cases were counted. Now, clinically diagnosed cases are being counted among the total, accounting for the large jump. While this number is likely more accurate, the spike in cases is not indicative of rapid new spread of the virus. Shortages of lab testing materials contributed to the decision to move to this new diagnosis classification.
Prior to this change in diagnosis classification, the number of new cases as a percent of total cases reported each day had steadily declined. Global Guardian believes this trend could continue to play out over the next 7-10 days, and there may be a peak in current cases (excludes recovered and deaths) in the next 3-4 weeks.
Outside mainland China, new cases have also slowed, with the exception of the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, where over 218 of the 3700 passengers have tested positive for the virus. It remains docked in Yokohama, Japan and is under control of Japanese health authorities.
While deaths continue to rise in Hubei province, there are only three confirmed deaths outside mainland China (HK, Philippines, and Japan).What we know:
- 63,866 confirmed cases worldwide
- 1,381 deaths
- 7,086 recovered
- Rate of spread is slowing
At least 62 airlines from 45 countries have suspended or cancelled flights to mainland China and/or Hong Kong due to the outbreak.
The U.S. State Dept. has issued guidance not to travel to China due to the outbreak. In addition, Global Guardian recommends the following:
- Avoid all travel to mainland China.
- Reconsider non-essential travel to Hong Kong and Singapore due to risk of travel limitations.
- If remaining in a city with known COVID-19 cases, practice advanced careful hygiene measures, including frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
- Wear a face mask or respirator in public if traveling in cities with reported infections.
Despite the sudden spike in cases due to a change in diagnosis classification, Global Guardian remains cautiously optimistic about the control of the outbreak.
See below coronavirus case graph from Johns Hopkins CSSE, the flattening curve indicates slowing spread of the virus:
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