Adam Kucharski, an associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, estimates that novel coronavirus might have infected 500,000 people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Kucharski and his team of researchers estimate that the virus could peak by mid-February.
Kucharski said uncertainty surrounds the virus but based on current data and reports coming from China, the peak prevalence could be more than 5%. The percentage means at least 1 in 20 people would be infected inside the city. The only factor that could change this is if the transmission rate slows in the days that lead up to the estimated peak date.
Meanwhile, researchers from Chinese hospitals and medical schools are looking at the possibility that the incubation period for coronavirus was as long as 24 days rather than the initial finding of 14 days. Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese epidemiologist who discovered Sars in 2003, heads the team.
As of Tuesday, China's National Health Commission confirmed 2,478 new cases in the mainland and 108 additional deaths. The new data brings the total infections in the Asian country to 42,638 with total deaths at 1,016.
Also on Tuesday, Hubei province made an extraordinary step of giving the official fatality rates. This was the first time the province has done so since the province was identified as the epicenter of the outbreak. Wuhan reported a fatality rate of 4.06%, less than Tianmen with a fatality rate of 5.08%. Hubei, meanwhile, has 2.88%.
The Wuhan government is now aiming to test all suspected cases by the end of the day. February 11. The measure is an answer to growing accusations that many residents remained unattended.
Nationwide, Chine released a mobile app that could track people and send them warning if they are in close contact with someone infected. The close contact detector app uses a QR code whenever a person request for a report on whether they are closeby an infected person. "Contact" means someone got close to a person infected or exhibiting symptoms of the virus. That "contact" can be detected among persons related, like family members, to people someone interacts within public places. When the report detects that the person who asked for a report is positive of "contact," the app will then advised the person to stay home and contact local health authorities.
On Monday, President Xi Jinping emerges in the public after weeks of being absent. He speaks with medical workers and patients. He also guarantees the nation can win its fight against the outbreak.
The president's appearance comes as automakers with facilities in China plan to re-open and start production again. Ford Motor became the first company to resume vehicle production in its factory in Chongqing and Hangzhou. Tesla followed suit, reopening its Shanghai gigafactory.
Toyota Motor plans to resume operations within this week while Nissan Motor is targeting February 17. Hona Motor announced it will be opening on February 13.
Other automakers have yet to determine the exact date yet but expressed hope just the same. General Motors said it will resume operations "in the coming days" while Hyundai Motor is still waiting for updates from suppliers in China.