The Rate Of Diamond Princess Infections Suggest Worldwide Infections Are Much Higher Than Official Reports

Thursday, February 20, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Eric Ross, Chief Investment Strategist of Cascend
Thu, 02/20/2020

Summary: The Diamond Princess cruise ship is the largest controlled COVID-19 coronavirus infected population outside of China

20% of the ship were infected over three weeks
From this, it suggests the rate of official reported infections (largely in China) is likely too low
This corroborates well with what our models have been saying: official reported infections are likely too low
From our models, far more people have likely been infected, but the death rate is also (thankfully) coming in lower than expected – worse than the flu, but perhaps in-line or lower than SARS, and definitely not a death sentence
Two passengers died last night from the Diamond Princess (male 87 and female 84) after being airlifted from the ship to a hospital a week ago, which implies a 1-2% death rate
And 14 days might not be long enough to conclusively prevent COVID-19 transmission, from the Diamond Princess experience, although passengers have now been released

The rate of Diamond Princess infections suggest worldwide infections are likely much higher than official reports

From the log scale chart below, the rate of Diamond Princess infections is much higher than infections suggested by official data (on log charts, lines with the same slope have the same growth rates)
Additionally, the Diamond Princess growth is very stable along the growth line versus the official data which doesn’t seem to follow a growth trend
Extending the fitted Diamond Princess line back to Patient Zero shows the first patient likely occurred on 21 January 2020 – in very good agreement with the actual assumed Patient Zero arriving on the cruise on the afternoon of 20 January
There is a slight possibility that massive quarantines in Hubei and China overall have dramatically slowed the infections rate, but we believe other possibilities are more likely

Cruise ships give us some of the best looks of the COVID-19 coronavirus

This is as close to a clinical trial as we will likely get
We can study rates of infections directly
An isolated, fixed-number population
No interaction with other populations (different from, say, Wuhan where 5m people were said to have fled before quarantine)
And free from lack of testing kits, medical staff, Chinese government determinations of “acceptable diagnosis techniques”, self-treating patients, and other data influences (organic or political)

Actually, the Diamond Princess cruise infection rates should be much lower than in normal cities

Passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been evacuated to onshore quarantined medical facilities (so only spread before symptoms manifest)
Cruise passengers have been largely quarantined in their rooms (except for short breaks for fresh air, much like prison), thus likely keeping measured spread rates much lower than in a city where there are many modes of interactions (and thus transmission)
Passengers can’t get off the ship without permission (unlike in Wuhan where 5m people were said to have left just before quarantine)
Everyone on the ship is being closely monitored
And passengers and staff are keenly aware of any slight symptoms, and quick to report
Additionally, passengers with medical need are quickly ferried off the ship to an onshore quarantined medical facility

Several medical professionals have criticized the Japanese efforts on the Diamond Princess

The Rest…HERE

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