GP Insights

GP Insights # 281, 7 March 2020

Coronavirus cases cross 100,000
Harini Madhusudan

What happened?
Multiple reports surfaced on the numbers that are emerging across the world. There has been a rise in the number of cases in the US and in India. According to worldometers.info, the total number of cases as of 7 March 2020, is at 103,737 of which 58,456 have recovered or have been discharged and 3,522 have died. Among the 41,759 active cases, 85 per cent are known to be in a mild condition. 

It has reached 98 countries and territories around the world and the one international conveyance case of the Diamond Princess which has over 696 cases. Fifty-two countries and territories have more than ten cases each which goes to show that the medical response to the outbreak has been below requirement. The cases in South Korea, Iran, Italy, Germany, France remain over 600. However, the percentage of cured cases look promising across the world, showing positive signs. 

What is the background?
Cases and deaths concerning the virus outbreak have been majorly among the age groups above 40 years. Up to 53 per cent of the cases have been cured and discharged and about 80 per cent are mild and many of the cases are showing up late because the response mechanisms of many countries have been late or the medical costs are known to be expensive; like in the case of the US, where getting a blood test was known to cost over 300 dollars. 

The economic impact of the virus outbreak is expected to show a slump in the first quarter of the year. The impact is strong in the airline sector. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts the outbreak could cost the airlines $113 billion in lost revenue as fewer people take flights. The impact on tourism and the manufacturing sector is expected to see a significant impact, though statistics are not visible yet.

What does it mean?
The steady increase in the number of cases abroad is the natural outcome of the globalized world. The fact that it has reached over 98 countries in three months shows the sheer interconnectedness in the world in terms of the movement of people. The medicine industry across the world does not work closely the same way. Success in the recovery of people has not been through uniform methods. However, signs show that the new cases have slowed down drastically and the numbers showing up now indicate the failure of detection and medical mechanisms.

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