Covid-19 update 22 March 2020

Worldwide confirmed cases have now topped 300,000.

  • China seems to have plateau’d at 81,000+ (but what happens when they remove the travel restrictions?)
  • Italy in 2nd place now 53,578
  • US in 3rd place: 26,747 (with 5x Italy’s population; hmmm, are they testing?)
  • France: 14,485 (+6833 since March 18, av. 1708.25/day)
  • UK 5,067 (+3113 since March 18, av. 778.25/day)
  • Japan 1,055 (+182 since March 18, av. 45.5/day; hmmm, are THEY testing? Tokyo numbers: 130). See below. See also this colour-coded tracker map (added to sidebar) and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare map).
  • Taiwan: 153.


It’s natural that people want to avoid catching this disease, and therefore travel as little as possible, stock up on food, etc. On top of that, there are various emergency measures being taken by governments in the countries and areas most heavily affected, e.g. UK (Coronavirus: Boris Johnson tells UK pubs and restaurants to shut in virus fight 🔴 @BBC News – BBC 21 March 2020). China’s numbers seem to have plateau’d, but what happens when the restrictions are lifted? Limiting people’s movements and interactions obvious temporarily limits the spread of the virus, but does not kill it. The only thing that will do that is when immunity tops 70% or so thereby severely limiting the potential hosts.

I repeat what seem to me the key points from the Imperial College report of March 16th, 2020:

Suppression: The good news: will require social distancing of the entire population + home isolation of cases + household quarantines + maybe school and university closures.

The bad news: “this will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available (18 months +) because transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed. “China and S Korea show that suppression is possible in the short term. It remains to be seen whether it is possible long-term.” Imperial College UK Covid-19 Response Team Report

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