INSIGHT: China Takes a Hit, #Coronavirus Mention in Media 20 Times More Than SARS

At the end of the day, China has taken a hit. Last week Forbes reported that Coronavirus could be the end of China as a global manufacturing hub.

SoDATA (South Data) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic with more than 127,749 confirmed cases and 4,717 deaths in 114 countries — with 68,305 recoveries as of March 12 4:33pm PST.

Since no single antidote against the novel virus has been clinically found and tested yet, the outbreak remains a matter of global concern though with social media in overdrive.

Add to the mix that the groundzero of the outbreak is China — the chatter goes several notches up! ‘China’ has been in the news quite a bit for several reasons up north. To name a few: US-China trade deal, tariff war, oil guzzler, 5G, Huawei, transparency, ‘existential threat’, etc., etc., etc. — the good, the bad, the ugly, the spaghetti — all these have been landing at Chinese doorstep.

As of January 23, there were over 800 cases of 2019-nCoV confirmed globally, including cases in at least 20 regions in China and nine countries/territories. In eight weeks +/-, as of Wednesday, 114 countries reported of the virus — highest percentage of fatality (6.2%) was reported in Italy followed by China and Iran. That’s 56 deaths daily on the average as compared to HIV/AIDS number: 2110.

On Thursday, there were 127,750 confirmed cases, but 68,307 were reported to have recovered and 4717 deaths — in 116 countries. Still experts say, the fatality rate is lower than what was observed in MERS and SARS.

Despite the number there were 1.1 billion mentions of this coronavirus in the media — nearly 20 times more than SARS mention (56.2 million).

Oil prices and stock indexes overreacted unfavorably — incidentally or coincidentally, and bean counters got busy calculating the futures and churning up new derivatives with pre and post-virus situations.

Infected travelers (primarily air) are known to be responsible for introductions of the virus outside Wuhan. On January 20, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans. China has been the center of gravity of the only functioning core south of Tropic of Capricon. Other two being Europe and North America.

At the end of the day, China has taken a hit. Last week Forbes reported that Coronavirus could be the end of China as a global manufacturing hub.

What about connectivity? This ‘functioning core’ has the highest connectivity index (internet, trade, travels, etc.) in the region with a huge outreach in global platform.

A massive PR and perception management may take time and huge resource mobilization.

Meanwhile, says a report, on human level, the only way to prevent the virus spread and infection is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.

“That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.”