Germany has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus with a man from the Starnberg area of Bavaria falling ill. The authorities still believe the risk of the virus spreading in the country remains low and the patient involved is isolated and at home. It is difficult to say how contagious the virus actually is but a recent WHO estimate published in Der Spiegel assumes there will be 1.4 to 2.5 newly infected people per sick individual. Der Spiegel states that such data is unreliable as it is dependent on too many factors such as the activity of the sick people involved. The following infographic provides an overview of the average number of new infections for different forms of disease based on the data reported by Der Spiegel.
The coronavirus outbreak has exceeded a grim milestone. The number of confirmed cases in mainland China has now surpassed that of SARS during the 2002-2003 epidemic. It took six months for the number of SARS cases to exceed 5,000 in mainland China and the coronavirus surpassed that in just one month. Johns Hopkins University tracking shows that there were 5,970 confirmed Chinese coronavirus cases and 132 deaths as of January 28 at 11pm EST. 5,327 cases of SARS and 349 deaths were reported in mainland China during the 2002-2003 outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.
Stock markets in Asia, some of which only reopened today after a prolonged Lunar new year hiatus, have suffered a great deal from the coronavirus outbreak in China. As of Wednesday, the respiratory disease which killed more than 130 people had spread to 18 countries and territories.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed today on its first day of trading in the new lunar year 4.8 percent lower than on Jan 2, the first trading day of 2020. The Shanghai Composite is not yet trading again but closed for the holidays on Jan 23 already 3.5 percent lower than on Jan 2. It was expected to reopen Friday but will stay shut until Feb 3 after an announcement from Chinese authorities.
In Japan and South Korea, where cases of the coronavirus have also been confirmed, stock marketsdipped but seem to be recovering. The Nikkei which traded continuously during the Lunar new year is almost back to early January levels. The market started 2020 trading late due to market holidays. The Korean Kospi Index reopened on Tuesday and has also lost all 2020 gains so far. On Wednesday, prices were recovering slightly.