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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Wuhan Coronavirus

This morning's (3/25) reports from the five hardest hit provinces in China

Place cases recov'd deaths active
  1. Hubei 67,801 60,811 3161 3827
  2. Guangdong 1,433 1,336 8 89
  3. Henan 1,274 1,250 22 2
  4. Zhejiang 1,241 1,221 1 19
  5. Hunan 1,018 1,014 4 0
The death RATES can be bracketed by assuming all pending cases die or that all pending cases recover, both being less likely than that some do and some don't.
  1. Hubei 4.7% 4.9% 10.3%
  2. Guangdong 0.6% 0.6% 6.8%
  3. Henan 1.7% 1.7% 1.9%
  4. Zhejiang 0.1% 0.1% 1.6%
  5. Hunan 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
So, unless a whole bunch of new cases appear -- and the meejah are doing their best to raise this possibility -- the Wuhan epicenter (Hubei province) will probably run about 5% mortality. Probably because the govt there at first tried to conceal it and only took action after it was 'too big to fail.' None of the other high-case provinces touch this. Only neighboring Henan comes close, at just under 2%. Guangdong is currently at 0.6% and only if every pending case is mortal might it become as high as 6.8%. In Hunan, where all cases are resolved at this point, the mortality is less than half a percent.


  1. Death rates (deaths per number infected) are completely unknown for all the above. The only known is deaths per positive test. Number of positive tests only = number infected for closed systems in which all are tested, e.g. Diamond Princess. (Ignoring for a moment your points about sensitivity and specificity).

  2. Shane TourtellotteApril 1, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    I procrastinated time and again in replying, almost to the point of not doing it. In the end, I couldn’t let this pass.

    Actions taken by the government of the People’s Republic of China, or elements thereof, regarding COVID-19 in the past four months include: halting lab study of the virus and ordering destruction of samples; arresting doctors who sounded the alarm about an outbreak and forcing at least one of them to sign a confession to criminal rumor-mongering (that doctor has since died of the disease); denying the possibility of human-to-human transmission to the World Health Organization; accusing the United States Army of bringing the disease into Wuhan; expelling foreign journalists who might deliver a story other than the one the Party promulgates; causing other critics of the Chinese outbreak response to “disappear.” These are highlights: the full list is considerably longer, especially if one adds elements we must consider speculative, or at least not fully confirmed.

    Given this, why on Earth or any other planet are you giving any credence to statistics issued from the PRC? If the numbers are from a government source, do you actually trust them? If they are from a non-government source, do you trust the government not to have “influenced” them? You have no data worthy of the name here.

    I’m mystified. For a while I thought you might be testing your readers, to see whether they made the mistake of taking these numbers, and analysis drawn from them, at face value. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I wish I knew what else to say. I don’t, so I’ll stop now.

    1. Always question the data. Always. Especially, China data.

      How are the terms defined? Were the definitions applied in the same way? Was the reporting agency trustworthy?

      It was /because/ the Chinese gov't did try to conceal the outbreak that the mortality rates there seemed so high when the lid finally blew off, this led some other governments to panic.

      But even the Chinese gov't needed actual data for themselves.

    2. Added, in re Wuhan Coronavirus:

  3. Shane TourtellotteApril 3, 2020 at 6:12 PM

    True, the Chinese government needs actual, factual data. That doesn't mean they're necessarily getting it. Underlings may be feeding them numbers they think the higher-ups want to hear, or numbers the underlings think will let them keep their jobs. Or their liberty (or the facsimile they have). Or their metabolism.

    Future generations are going to see dry lists of figures from this period, and wonder why so many people in 2020 were overreacting, or underreacting, or both. And then maybe they'll have their own situation, and learn it anew.


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