Research Summary and Recommendations of ANBOUND on Covid-19

As an information analysis agency, ANBOUND has conducted an effective tracking study on the issue of the novel coronavirus outbreak in January 2020 and reached a series of conclusions. Since then two months have passed, many of our conclusions which were previously controversial have become common knowledge and are often narrated by more and more doctors in various occasions. To name an example, as early as in January, ANBOUND has published articles mentioning “toxic air” and “aerosol hazard”, now WHO has confirmed that the novel coronavirus can survive in the air, recommending medical personnel should take airborne precautions into considerations. In order to more extensively verify our past research conclusions, we have conducted a retrospective study based on the global data of Hopkins University on March 22, and the conclusion of this study clearly shows that the various presumptions made by ANBOUND in January 2020 are completely correct.

Some of the important points made by ANBOUND are:

First of all, data research clearly shows that ANBOUND’s previous definition of Covid-19 as an “influenza-like virus” is completely correct. If the death rate of the virus flu is about 1.1%, and the death caused by Covid-19 as of March 23 is 4.37%, the total number of cases worldwide on that day is 368,338, and the total number of deaths is 16,113, including the three countries with more abnormal cases, namely China, Italy, and Iran. If the figures from these three countries are excluded when calculating mortality, the mortality rate caused by Covid-19 is about 2%, which may be a more normal mortality rate. Therefore, compares with the 25% mortality rate of Ebola, 9.6% of SARS, and 34% of MERS, it is obviously the mortality rate of Covid-19 is more similar to the viral flu. Of course, it is too frivolous to determine that it is a viral-like flu based only on mortality figures. However, one should also note that the transmission, symptoms, cause and process of death and aspects of Covid-19 are similar to those of the viral flu. All these have led us to our tendency and inference.

However, it should be clarified that although we have always determined that Covid-19 is a “flu-like” outbreak, it is obviously necessary to emphasize that ANBOUND has never stated preventive actions are unnecessary for viral flu. In fact, the total number of deaths caused by viral flu every year is actually quite high. In the United States alone, after the commencement of the flu season in September 2019, 19 million people have been infected in the United States, 180,000 have been hospitalized, and 10,000 have died.

Secondly, there are four major factors affecting mortality rate. For an inductive conclusion concerning the number of cases of Covid-19 death to be particularly different, we believe that there are four major factors: temperature, the overall medical conditions, age, and social management. It has been noticed that the death rate in Italy is particularly high, as high as 9%, something that is not found elsewhere in the world. This has to do with the four reasons mentioned previously. Italy has an aging population, and the elderly are not well taken care of. The general medical conditions there are relatively poor; most hospitals are set up to cope with normal medical treatments, thus unable to cope with the impact of this sudden outbreak, therefore serious confusion occurred. Culturally, Italians love to socialize, in addition the temperature in northern Italy is much lower than in the south. These factors are important reasons for the extremely high number of deaths in Italy.

Coronavirus (Photo: pixabay.com)

Thirdly, it is also precisely these four factors that contribute to the difference in mortality rate in different countries and regions. Throughout the world, there are cases to illustrate the relations between these four factors and the Covid-19 mortality rate. For example, in war-torn Afghanistan, there are now 24 cases, but the mortality rate is zero, largely because the Afghan population is generally young. Although there are only 214 cases in Iraq, there have been 17 deaths with a mortality rate of 7.9%, which is obviously directly related to medical conditions. The same is true in the Philippines. Of the 380 cases, 25 have already been fatal, and the mortality rate has also reached 6.6%; this can be attributed to both management and medical issues. There are also examples of the same four factors leading to positive results. For example, in the former Soviet Union, where medical assets left over from the former Soviet Union are retained, and the results against the outbreak is in general, quite good. Although there were 306 cases in Russia, only one died. There are also 306 cases in Estonia, but the mortality rate is zero. In other examples, such as 190 cases in Armenia and 124 in Latvia, the mortality rate remains zero. The temperature in these places is not high, but neither is the mortality rate, due to age and their general medical conditions.

Fourthly, the effect of temperature on the virus can be determined. We have noticed some papers or models believe that temperature has no effect in suppressing the spread of the novel coronavirus, therefore we should not place our hope in this. However, ANBOUND holds a clear disagreement in this, based on our data analysis. We believe that the limit of 24 degrees Celsius (or 75 degrees Fahrenheit), which stably exceeds this temperature line, has an inhibitory effect on the virus. The main reason is that after the temperature is high, the human body’s antibodies are easily activated, and the activity of the virus will be weakened. Of course, the virus will not disappear. Therefore, we believe that the temperature factor should be one of the important policy foundations for coping with the public health crisis. Taking the Gulf countries with high temperatures as an example, although there are many confirmed cases, the mortality rate is extremely low, and most of them are one death or zero. death. Therefore, no drugs or vaccines will be as effective as “stay at home”. As long as the temperature in the northern hemisphere rises, the pandemic may pass. Certainly, this will take almost the entire first half of 2020.

Fifthly, for large-scale transmission of Covid-19, a basic scale is required. Although large-scale transmission is the most worrying issue, ANBOUND’s research found out that this requires a basic scale. In general, the basic scale is 80 cases. In densely populated cities, the basic scale is 40 cases. Once this basic scale is exceeded, there is a great possibility that a large-scale outbreak will occur. This data is also of great relevance to crisis policy. Many people are worried about Africa now, but in fact Africa is not currently in serious danger because most African countries have single-digit cases. These countries have relatively young populations and the temperature in there is higher, these are all factors conducive to the control of the pandemic. The relatively dangerous African country is Tunisia, with 60 cases already, but only one death. In addition, there are 56 cases in Senegal.

Because of the constant mutation of the viruses, this actually means that they will not disappear. The only virus that claims to have been defeated in human history is smallpox, but this claim is in reality this is because the virus could not be found for a period of time. Because the virus is “invincible” and the human body is one of its best hosts, controlling and preventing viruses is the greatest challenge in the future.

ANBOUND believes and recommends that the most important thing is the construction of a virus-countermeasure system. Such system can of course be built with countering virus and influenza in mind, but it is certainly not easy. The reason is that, first of all this countermeasure system must be equally effective for viruses that we do not necessarily know and understand, as we are entering the era of Little Ice Age and the environment is becoming more suitable for viruses. Viruses do not disappear in real sense. Second, this countermeasure system must be able to correct defects at any time. We need to remember that even for the known virus, our existing detecting system is not efficient enough. After the emergence of “pneumonia of unknown cause”, influenza cases and their statistical data are have appeared to disappear somehow. Therefore, linear methods, such as the model of early detection and early treatment familiar to China, may need to be restructured to in a systematic way, otherwise it would be insufficient to fully respond to the outbreak of the viral epidemic.

It should be noted that the fundamental purpose of ANBOUND’s research on the viral outbreak is for public policy, and the response to the public health crisis is a crucial part of public policy. Our main objective is to establish an effective anti-virus barrier, in order to make the policies more effective, with lower costs and less losses. Experiences and lessons in this regard are almost ubiquitous. Take Massachusetts of the United States as an example. It originally had a cutting-edge health care institution, yet with the current merely 777 confirmed cases and 9 deaths, the medical system is beginning to fall apart, while the state has entered a state of emergency. Of course, there are various reasons for this to happen. The panic of government officials and medical personnel, the serious lack of experience, the lack of material reserves, the lack of training, the inadequacy of the mechanism and the inability to cope with it, are all part of it. In other words, there is the inefficiency of the public health crisis policy. This is given the fact that the state of Massachusetts has a fairly good healthcare system in the United States; the situation in New York can be even worse while some other states in the United States are more chaotic than Massachusetts. All of this is related to crisis policy and management.

Final analysis conclusion:

Human society continuously faces various crises. Of course, it is important to summarize and study based on facts, but more important is to effectively intervene in the crisis process. Countries around the world, including China, are actually only halfway through virus epidemic control. Unless an effective virus epidemic countermeasure system really appears and operates smoothly and effectively, it is of no exaggeration that all countries will always live under the shadow of viral outbreak. So far, when we observe the discussions and information worldwide, other than ANBOUND, we do not see research and discussion on the viral epidemic countermeasure system, including any discussions by the World Health Organization. This is indeed quite worrying. Because of Covid-19, the world has suffered huge losses now. If the viral epidemic countermeasure system is not given enough attention, then the situation in the future may be even worse. What we see now is only the beginning.

Founder of Anbound Think Tank in 1993, Chan Kung is the Chief Researcher and is one of China’s renowned experts in information analysis. Most of Chan Kung‘s academic research activities are in economic information analysis, particularly in the area of public policy. He lives in Beijing

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