The coronavirus outbreak doesn’t want to go off the market radar, rattling markets on Thursday as the number of confirmed cases in China posted the biggest daily gain of 15K

This is a significant increase compared with a modest 2-3K in the previous days, however, before drawing conclusions about how aggressive the virus is or how the spread dynamics have changed, consider the following important points:

  • The data we see and rely on are confirmed cases. They are quite sensitive to the policy of recording. Yesterday I wrote that China excluded asymptomatic cases from the confirmed cases probably in order to provide the treatment to those who need it most.
  • Today it has also become known that manifestation of clinical symptoms, for example pneumonia, have become a sufficient reason to count in confirmed cases. This has probably become the main reason for the sharp increase in the number of infected (i.e. confirmed cases).
  • Because of the limited pace of laboratory testing, declining accuracy due to rush or overload, it has become clear that “laboratory confirmed” cases are no a longer relevant gauge of the outbreak.

It could be possible that due to the obsolete assessment and treatment developed during the initial stage of the outbreak (adequate for the normal workload of labs and medical centers), many couldn’t receive appropriate treatment. This issue has been finally addressed by the government and thus recording methods should and will change in accordance with the development of the situation.

Taken from the China National Health Commission statement:

Confirmed Cases:

  • Daily Change: +15152
  • Including clinically diagnosed in Hubei: +13332
  • Confirmed by laboratory tests: +1820

Suspicious cases: +2807 cases (surprisingly low comparing to the jump in confirmed cases. Keep in mind it is the leading indicator of the spread).

If the high rate of daily increase in confirmed cases continues for at least another 1-2 days, then there will be a reason to panic. In the meantime, I venture to suggest that tomorrow the number of new confirmed cases will be far less and decline further.

Some traders are cautiously selling gold, which responded to the explosive growth of confirmed cases, probably irrationally:

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