Is COVID-19 getting deadlier?

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Source : Financial Times

The number of new Coronavirus infections has been slowing, according to official stats. But at the same time there’s been an alarming pick-up in cases as well as deaths outside of China, with South Korea, Iran and Italy most notably struck. The European nation has gone to the extreme level of cancelling its world-famous Venice festival in a bid to prevent further contamination. 

The question everyone wants answering is whether the ratio of deaths to reported cases abroad will be greater than the average reported in China.

Citi’s analyst team has crunched the data and rendered the important numbers into chart form.

This is how the disease has been progressing in China:

But this is how the death rate and recovery rate compares to new cases outside of China:

In terms of a breakdown of those external cases, Jefferies’ Greed & Fear note by Christopher Wood gives some more granular detail, highlighting specifically the cruise ship factor:

But if you need a particularly telling chart (source: Wind and Citi Research), it’s this one:

In terms of the economic and business hit, Standard Chartered analysts note on Monday that most Chinese SMEs have seen a notable decrease in their surplus cash, and a slowdown in their receivables turnover. According to the analysts, SMEs’ cash flows can maintain operations for four and a half months on average, but.... as many as 62 per cent of SMEs can only survive for up to three months on the savings they have.

Credit support and additional bank lending capacity are going to be crucial to get China past the worst of it as far as the economy’s concerned.

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