Checking in on China, where officials are now seeing a decrease in the number of newly reported infections. Plus, social distancing is being encouraged as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We’ll talk about ‘flattening the curve.’
Dr. William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Author of the Washington Post article “If you can work from home, you should. Now.” (@BillHanage)
Steven Lee Myers, Beijing bureau chief for The New York Times. (@stevenleemyers)
From The Reading List
Reuters: “In China’s coronavirus epicenter, just five new cases” — “China’s Wuhan city, ground zero of the new coronavirus outbreak, reported five new cases on Friday, the second day in a row the tally has been less than 10, while no locally transmitted infections were reported in the rest of the country.
“Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, registered the five new cases on Thursday, the National Health Commission said, down from eight cases the previous day. The commission routinely reports new cases the day after the data is collected.
“Excluding Wuhan, Hubei has reported no new infections for eight consecutive days. The commission said on Thursday China’s coronavirus epidemic had passed its peak, even as alarm over the virus intensified elsewhere with global markets suffering record falls and governments unveiling measures to try to slow the spread of a disease that has infected more than 127,000 people worldwide.”
Time: “China’s Draconian Lockdown Is Getting Credit for Slowing Coronavirus. Would It Work Anywhere Else?” — “As COVID-19 spread rapidly across China, authorities took an aggressive stance to fight the coronavirus. They were slow to respond to the outbreak—at first suppressing information and denying that it could spread between humans even as it did just that. But, as case numbers skyrocketed, Beijing went to extraordinary lengths to fight the virus, identified at COVID-19, in a campaign Chinese President Xi Jinping has described as a ‘people’s war.’
“The most dramatic, and controversial, of the measures was the lockdown of of tens of millions of people in what is believed to be the largest quasi-quarantine in human history.
“Less than two months after the lockdown went into effect, it appears to be working, at least according to Chinese health officials, who announced on Thursday that the country had passed the peak of the coronavirus epidemic. They reported just eight new cases of the virus the same day, the lowest number since they began publicly releasing numbers. At the same time, cases of COVID-19 across the world are skyrocketing.”
CNN Business: “Coronavirus devastates China’s economy and the ‘nightmare’ is not over” — “China’s economy was devastated by the novel coronavirus outbreak in the first two months of the year, according to data published Monday, and analysts say the nightmare is far from over.
“The collapse in activity affected every sector of the world’s second biggest economy, as the epidemic and draconian measures designed to contain it delivered an unprecedented shock that is now being replicated around the world.
“‘We are in a very, very unprecedented period of time,’ Adrian Zuercher, head of Asia Pacific asset allocation at the chief investment office of UBS, told CNN Business.
“Retail sales plunged 20.5% during January and February over the same period in 2019, industrial output was down 13.5%, and fixed asset investment fell by nearly 25%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. All three data points were much weaker than analysts were expecting, and the decline in industrial production was the sharpest contraction on record.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.