Read the study
I’m glad someone is finally digging into the data and realizing that there is no way the official numbers can be correct.
paper in the Lancet today says there may have been 75,800 coronavirus cases in Wuhan as of January 25.
We used data from Dec 31, 2019, to Jan 28, 2020, on the number of cases exported from Wuhan
internationally (known days of symptom onset from Dec 25, 2019, to Jan 19, 2020) to infer the number of infections
in Wuhan from Dec 1, 2019, to Jan 25, 2020
This isn’t a terribly complicated model to take. The number of travelers, on average, from Wuhan is a number that can be estimated from travel patterns. People from that city have managed to export 78 cases abroad, yet we’re to believe there are only 5000 people in the city with the virus?
Or take the German case that spread from Shanghai. A woman from that city — at a time when there were supposedly only 20 cases in the city — traveled to Germany and infected 4 people. What are the odds that she was one of the 20 people with the virus (in a city of 25 million) and happened to be an international traveler.
In our baseline scenario, we estimated that the basic reproductive number for 2019-nCoV was 2·68
(95% CrI 2·47-2·86) and that 75 815 individuals (95% CrI 37 304-130 330) have been infected in Wuhan as of
Jan 25, 2020. The epidemic doubling time was 6·4 days (95% CrI 5·8-7·1). We estimated that in the baseline
scenario, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen had imported 461 (95% CrI 227-805),
113 (57-193), 98 (49-168), 111 (56-191), and 80 (40-139) infections from Wuhan, respectively. If the transmissibility
of 2019-nCoV were similar everywhere domestically and over time, we inferred that epidemics are already
growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about
It’s important to emphasize that these estimates are from nearly a week ago. So the numbers are undoubtedly higher now.
Given that 2019-nCoV is no longer contained within Wuhan, other major Chinese cities are probably
sustaining localised outbreaks. Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could also become outbreak
epicentres, unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented
Meanwhile Delta announced it will suspend China flights from Feb 6 through April 30. I feel like the market is betting this will be over next week and airlines are saying China will be closed for two months.