COVID-19 update: More improvement in Europe, increase slowing in the US, markets rally

Bottom line. We see more confirmation of a peak in new cases in Italy and the growth in infections is also slowing in the rest of Europe. Following a week of steep increases, growth in US infections is coming down. Infections are still on the rise in India and Brazil but not in the same exponential fashion as in other early outbreaks. Iran saw a rise higher in new cases, highlighting tough measures need to be in place for a while.

The number of new cases outside China declined yesterday from 42,819 to 41,130. Europe is behind 64% of the increase, US 23%, Middle East 7%, Asia 3% and LatAm and Africa 3%. The total number of infections outside China is now 341,000.

Our model scenarios are kept unchanged and we are still on track for the 'total peak of 900,000' scenario.

Italy registered 5,249 new infections, a slight rise from yesterday but still off the peak on Sunday 22 March at 6,557. The growth rate is down to 8% for the past two days, from 25% two weeks ago. The number of new deaths in Italy increased to 743 from 601 but is still off the highs so far at 795 on Sunday. The decline in growth of deaths validates the slowdown in the number of infections.

Germany saw a small decline in new cases to 3,935 from 4,183 and there are now clear signs of improvement here as well. The daily growth rate is down to around 15% (doubling in five days) from 30% a week ago (doubling in three days). We still believe it is too early for a peak in new cases but expect it to come within the next week.

After a jump higher in new cases yesterday, France saw a decline back to 2,448 from 3,838. There seems to have been some underreporting during the weekend and the rise on Monday may have been a catch-up. As in Germany we also see slower growth of infections in France with the daily rate below 20%.

In the US we saw the first slightly positive news yesterday as the number of new cases declined to 8,722 from 11,428. A bit of caution is needed as part of the big rise over the past week is probably 'catch-up with reality' as testing increased significantly. The growth rate has slowed down to 19% from 30-35%.

Iran has seen a renewed spike in new cases to a new high of 1,762 after having stabilised around 1,250 for a while. The growth rate is still fairly low below 10% but the new increase highlights the need to keep strong restrictions in place until the virus has been knocked down sufficiently.

South Korea saw 100 new cases yesterday so still has not rooted it out completely. The growth rate is still below 1%, however.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have seen increases from imported cases but the increase is still only around 10% so no sign of a new exponential outbreak. We also believe these countries follow a very clear rule book with extensive testing and isolation of infected cases, which should limit community spread. However, it highlights the threat from importing the virus again even after getting it under control. 


Read the full article on Danske Bank research's website

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