There is a hardly a bigger story than the recent China coronavirus outbreak. The news and stories online and especially in social media range from doomsday scenarios to “just another harmless flu” with various conspiracy theories in between.

In this post we gathered some up-to-date stats and a translated piece from respectable Caixin site followed by our own analysis.

First, the article from Caixin with our translation and commentary about China coronavirus outbreak:

As of January 31, the cumulative number of severe cases accounted for 15.8% of the confirmed cases, and the mortality rate (accumulated death cases accounted for the cumulative confirmed cases) has remained at the level of 2.2% for 3 consecutive days.

Here is the most recent data of February 4th from (blue line – total cases, yellow line – suspected cases, red line – confirmed infections):

China coronavirus infections numbers

The current situation of the new coronavirus epidemic situation is still serious, the epidemic situation is still spreading throughout the country, and the number of newly diagnosed cases has increased. At the same time, the growth rate of confirmed cases nationwide has also shown signs of decline. The number of newly cured cases on the 30th and 31st days exceeded the number of new deaths.

The declining growth rate proves that the quite extreme quarantine measure China are having an effect.

New test kits for the novel coronavirus have been developed and were approved by the Chinese regulator NMPA (vid). These new kits allow to test new patients in just 30 minutes. The people who have a normal flu can now be early on distinguished from those who have caught the virus.

The graph of new suspected cases per day (yellow) is flattening while the number of newly confirmed cases per day (red) is now linear and starts to show a slight decrease.

As the epidemic progresses, the data is not yet as straightforward as noted in the article, so it is still too early to identify such trends. Here is the data of February 4th from (blue line – total cases, yellow line – suspected cases, red line – confirmed infections):

China coronavirus outbreak new cases increase rate

Unless something unforeseen happens in the next few days, we are now coming near to the peak of the China coronavirus epidemic. The number of new infections per day may soon start to decrease.

All this is good news. The Global Times is already pushing for new economic measures to increase growth when the epidemic is over.

On the negative side, some people use the epidemic for profit.

There have been a number of conspiracy theories which make totally unfounded claims that the virus is a bio weapon and that it escaped from a high security bio lab in Wuhan or was intentionally created or released by Chinese researchers.

The truth is that the novel coronavirus is NOT a bioweapon. No military would invest in developing a weapon that kills only 2% of those affected by it. A real bioweapon would also spread much faster then the current rate of infection with the novel coronavirus.

In conclusion, based on what we know so far, here is our own take on the current situation:

– Mortality rate has remained steady at 2.2% and is not increasing as many have predicted. However, it worth noting that many international observers consider this figure unrealistically low, although it isn’t a government conspiracy as some might suggest. This may have to do with the fact that in China, unlike in most countries, it is customary to put only one cause of death on a death certificate. For example, if a person dies of a preexisting condition and was also treated for coronavirus infection, it would be up to a doctor to choose the cause of death.

– The number deaths and confirmed cases is growing linearly and not exponentially. This would indicate that the China coronavirus is not spreading out of control.

– The number of cured cases has now overtaken the number of deaths and this gap is increasing daily. This was not the case just a few days ago.

China coronavirus death vs. cures 2020-02-04

– We are approaching an inflection point in the number of new cases which means it’s slowly decreasing although it is still relatively high in absolute numbers.

– The number of infections outside of China is negligible, this means that it hasn’t reached pandemic level. Also, up until this point, there was just one coronavirus related death outside of China (in Philippines). This also suggests that the virus is not as lethal as was initially assumed.

Of course, the situation is still very dynamic and far from certain. Also, our analysis is based on the official statistics from sites like and we should always keep in mind that things still might take turn to the worst.

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