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Wednesday, February 05, 2020
ANBOUND's Assessment of the Wuhan Pneumonia
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ANBOUND's First Assessment of the Wuhan Pneumonia (January 23, 2020)

Infected people: It is predicted that there are 20,000 patients infected with the Wuhan Pneumonia, which in any case is higher than the previously predicted 10,000-population scale. Based on several data gathered, it is estimated there are 4,300 medical beds in Wuhan, with many who have yet to obtain medical treatment. Therefore, it can be rightfully assumed that the total number of infected patients in Wuhan is three times greater than the number previously predicted. Coupled up with the total numbers of people in other parts of China, this would bring the coronavirus' death toll to anywhere between 300 and 500. (China)

Funding for Epidemic Prevention and Control: Using SARS as an exemplary basis of assessment, the Chinese central government allocated budget reserve fund worth RMB 2 billion to tackle the matter. Provincial finances are generally allocated a reserve cost between 1% to 3% of the budget. In addition to that, the central government had also provided initial funding and arranged an extra RMB 2 billion special funds for the construction of the initial stage emergency response mechanism. A decade following the outbreak of SARS, the Chinese local governments have expanded 109 CDC projects at various levels, including provincial CDCs, 21 municipal and 87 county CDCs, bearing a total investment worth RMB 3.09 billion. A conservative estimate is that a total cost of RMB 10 billion alone had been spent in the later stages in China's efforts to prevent and control SARS. Factoring costs such as SARS investments, consumption, and miscellaneous expenditures, that brings the cost a rough figure RMB 15 billion to RMB 20 billion. Based on the current human resources, financial, cost assessments, and calculations based on the average growth rate expansion (10%, cumulative 170%), the current response to The Wuhan Pneumonia theoretically requires approximately RMB 40.5 billion in the entire China, excluding industrial investment. Considering the original investment effect of SARS, half of it can work, theoretically, nonetheless. As such, the State Council of China should consider offering an additional investment of at least RMB 20 billion to help with the situation.

Impact on the Economy: The overall impact is 0.5 to 1 percentage point, and China will not be able to achieve 6% economic growth rate.

Chinese Disease Control Methods: Mainly relying on the government, not the CDC.

The above results are a part of the information tracking research, which is an empirical research and is solely used for references only.

ANBOUND's Second assessment of the Wuhan Pneumonia (January 29, 2020)

Infected people: Using mathematical models in the assessment, the total number of infected people is approximately 29,000, with death toll number being revised from 500 to 900.

Peak of the Epidemic: The assessment shows that condition of the epidemic will peak in 10 days' time, February 9 to be precise, followed by a gradual dissipation. However, as the novel coronavirus is now known to be weaker than SARS, it is expected that measures to control the epidemic will continue for a period, under smaller number of conditions, which would cause the number of cases to fluctuate.

Funding for Epidemic Prevention and Control: Amendments were made following the first assessment. China's overall investment in easing the epidemic is expected to exceed the RMB 100 billion, higher than that as estimated in the first assessment.

Impact on China's Economy: The second assessment concluded that the impact of the epidemic on economic growth was 0.5% -1.2%. Particularly, consumption during the Spring Festival was hit hard, whilst tourism, catering and movies were some of the industries affected the most. The quarterly economic growth is likely to fall below 5%. The results of the second assessment result is slightly lower than that of the first, which was 0.5% -1%.

The above results are a part of the information tracking research, which is an empirical research and is solely used for references only.

ANBOUND's Third Assessment of the Wuhan Pneumonia (February 5, 2020)

Infected people: The number of confirmed cases from the second assessment has been revised once more. Data shows that the final number of diagnosed cases, after excluding confounding variables which includes general pneumonia, influenza, and misdiagnosis that were treated as Wuhan novel coronavirus pneumonia, is approximately 43,600 cases, which is slightly higher than the 30,000 cases reported in the second assessment dated January 29.

Peak of the epidemic: The conclusion of the second assessment is retained. The epidemic will peak on February 9, followed by a volatile decline.

It is worth noting the data that appeared from the continuous tracking analysis on February 3 and the subsequent three days point towards "a new dawn" in battling the epidemic. As such, ANBOUND believes that a monumental moment is very likely to happen in China on February 3. This is backed up by the fact that relevant analysis shows an overall solid downward trend in newly suspected cases and the data forms a cross-trend with the newly confirmed cases, which both represents and reflects the peak of the epidemic that is approaching. This means the judgment of the trend is in line with the peak figure associated on February 9. Among them, extraneous variables such as hospital transfer and sudden exposure in Wuhan have been ruled out through prolonged judgment and continuous tracking. Hence, "a new dawn" is nearing.

Number of deaths: In the third assessment, ANBOUND conducted an in-depth analysis of the data concerning mortality rates and participated in a cross-national investigation to understand the mystery behind the outbreak's unusually high mortality figures. The analysis showed that Wuhan's mortality rate is shockingly higher than that of a normal circumstance. In areas outside Wuhan, the mortality rate is only two in a thousand, with the figure expected to further decline soon. Although the mortality rate is far higher than that of influenza under empirical conditions, it is still far below the estimates of past experts. As of February 4, there were 797 confirmed cases in Guangdong with zero fatality; likewise, Zhejiang had as many as 829 confirmed cases with no deaths. Outside of China, there has only been 1 fatality reported thus far, in the Philippines. Likewise, there were cases reported in Nepal and Cambodia too though there were no deaths involved. Using these examples as a focal point of comparison, 414 deaths were reported in Hubei, of which 313 deaths came from Wuhan alone. Wuhan faced an alarming figure of 4.9% in its mortality rate, 24.5 times greater than the usual mortality rate.

Assuming the findings operate on the two deaths to a thousand ratio and that miscellaneous causes of death, i.e.: delays in treatment, cross-infection, and old age in Wuhan are ruled out, the novel coronavirus behaves very much like an influenza-like illness. Just like a regular flu, it has a high rate of infection but low mortality rate. The only group to be predisposed to a higher fatality rate is elderly people with weaker resistance, though most can eventually recover nonetheless.

Therefore, based on the comprehensive assessment in the data of the mortality rates, there is reason to believe that the World Health Organization has overestimated the threat of "The Wuhan Pneumonia", although one should bear in mind that the WHO's assessment takes into consideration of third world countries too. Additionally, certain Chinese government departments, particularly the public health department is as equally baffled by the results. Policy actions are often designed conservatively, and the lack of qualitative analysis of the Wuhan Pneumonia has led to string of problems and huge policies. cost. Put together, the number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Wuhan ranges anywhere between 500 to 900, which is consistent with the data obtained from the second assessment on January 29.

Impact on China's economy: Economy wise, as the epidemic has not ceased, any accurate prediction of the epidemic's impact towards the economy is unlikely to occur. A systematic assessment made only from a macro perspective believes that it is reasonable to maintain the forecast from the second assessment on January 29, where the impact on national economic growth is predicted to increase by 0.5% -1.2%, based on a structural analysis examining the impact of Spring Festival consumption as well as the tourism, catering and cultural and creative industries. Among them, the impact on the economic growth in the first quarter is the largest, and it is difficult for the quarterly economic growth to exceed 5%. All these predictions and judgments are consistent with the second assessment. As such, there is no need to adjust the performance of data analysis.

It needs to be stressed that the most important economic concern related to the epidemic at present is to prevent the Chinese economy experiencing a downward trend. At present, apart from major reforms, there are no good supporting policies to fortify it. Even with the injection of large-scale capital flows within small state-owned circulations, floating capital can cause drastic fluctuations in the capital market, which means market demands cannot be expanded. Furthermore, the difficulty of running a business still exists, perhaps even worsened given the epidemic. This will tighten the consumption of resources and cause the Chinese economy to decline for long-term. This would surely be the greatest risk China will face soon.

The above results are a part of the information tracking research, which is an empirical research and is solely used for references only.

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