Coronavirus Update: India Bans Drug Exports, US Cases Spread, HSBC, Seattle Ghost Town or Not?

Comment for today: I think the peak negative news flow is coming over the next month. Markets will anticipate and sell ahead of the peak in case growth. We are entering a highly volatile phase both in public and market reaction.

A long, good post at HedgeEye. You have to give your email to read it, I suspect it might be on ZeroHedge in a day or two: Why COVID-19 Is Unstoppable (Yes, Even in China)
There are no good options. Essentially, China has to steer a path between Scylla and Charybdis—and it has to prepare for damage from either side. However long China can bear to suppress activity, I don’t believe it’s possible for China to prevent a nationwide epidemic in the weeks and months to come.

Estimating the ultimate death toll depends on our assumptions. First, let’s assume that the ultimate community infection rate is somewhere between 30% and 70%. Next, let’s assume that the population-wide case fatality rate is somewhere between 1.0% and 0.5%. That will generate total deaths of somewhere between 2 million and 10 million.

Hiroshi Nishiura, an epidemiologist at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, uses a model that generates a result in this range. Nishiura estimates that the outbreak in China will peak sometime between late March and late May. At that point, up to 2.3 new infections will occur on a single day. Roughly 40% of the population will get infected, and half of all cases will show no symptoms. Assuming a high and low case fatality rate, that’s a death toll of 3 to 6 million.
This is not alarmist, but it doesn't bank on any luck such as a warmer spring (and heat weakening the virus, still somewhat of an unknown from what I've read...). The article does later go on to say a favorable mutation that makes the virus less lethal is also possible and even likely (given that most mutations break that way).

Travel bans spreading, this time Australia. Coronavirus outbreak forces travel ban for South Korea, extra checks for travellers from Italy amid coronavirus outbreak. Nobody has jumped ahead of the curve yet and preemptively banned travel to the USA.

SCMP: Coronavirus: ‘recovered’ patient dies as China reports discharged cases falling ill again
A 36-year-old man has died of respiratory failure in Wuhan, five days after being discharged from one of the makeshift hospitals built to contain the outbreak, according to a report by Shanghai-based news portal The Paper.

The report, which was later removed, said Li Liang had been admitted to the hospital – built to treat patients with mild and moderate symptoms – on February 12, according to his wife, surnamed Mei. He was discharged two weeks later with instructions to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days.
财新: 复阳疑云:新冠患者出院后死亡事件始末 has more details, behind their paywall, but no explanation yet for the death. Need to wait for more info.

CityAM: HSBC evacuates dozens from Canary Wharf HQ after employee contracts coronavirus
Chris Martenson (who has the best daily update vids if you're interested) discusses the #FakeNews on masks. Another shining example of media and govt failing at their most basic jobs.
SCMP: Coronavirus: South Korea’s aggressive testing gives clues to true fatality rate
And while experts caution that it is still too early to draw firm conclusions, the picture emerging in South Korea – which has the most confirmed cases outside China but with a more transparent political environment – suggests the virus could be less lethal than patchier data emerging from elsewhere.
“If we can test more people – whether they have no symptoms, mild or severe disease – the results, including the case fatality rate, are more accurate and representative when the whole disease spectrum is taken into consideration,” said David Hui Shu-cheong, an expert in respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Most countries just focus on testing the hospitalised patients who obviously have more severe disease, and [thus] the fatality rate is high.”
NBCNews: Seattle feels like 'ghost town,' business owners say as they face life in coronavirus hot spot

Rantz: Rantz: Seattle unifies to mock coronavirus ‘ghost town’ report by NBC News

The Guardian: India limits medicine exports after supplies hit by coronavirus
The restricted drugs include paracetamol, antibiotics such as tinidazole and erythromycin, the hormone progesterone, which is used in the contraceptive pill, and and vitamins B12, B1 and B6. The drugs account for 10% of all India’s pharmaceutical exports.

India is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of drugs, with the US and Europe heavily reliant on the supply.

India’s pharmaceutical companies source about 70% of their ingredients from Chinese factories, many of which have been shut for weeks owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The closure of airports in China has also impeded supplies reaching India.

Finally, risk of policy overshoot is rising, particularly where governments are trying to use money printing to prop up markets or deal with supply-shocks that cannot be fixed by money printing. This could create an inflationary boom when the virus lifts, one that eventually busts and could trigger the next recession or bear market.

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