COVID-19 update: Italy peaking and infection growth slows in Europe, still worse in US, markets rebound in Asia

Bottom line: there are more signs that the number of new cases peaked in Italy over the weekend. The growth rate is also slowing in the rest of Europe, which lags Italy about a week. The US still sees growth around 30% (doubling in three days) as it lags further behind in the virus cycle. Cases are on the rise in other regions but not at the same high growth rates as in the early stages in Italy and China.

  • The number of new cases outside China jumped higher to above 42,819 from 30,777 bringing the total to 381,653 worldwide. Of the new cases 60% were in Europe and 30% in the US. The big rise in new cases was most likely due to a 'too low' number yesterday. Smoothing the two days gives a more gradual increase.

  • Our model scenarios are unchanged and we are on track for a '900,000 peak' scenario. This requires that the number of new cases tops out by the end of March.

  • We have added a table showing daily growth rates for some key countries as these will be key to watch over the coming week. We now see falling growth in infections in most of Europe, which is in line with what we have seen in countries that are further in the virus cycle such as Iran, South Korea and China. It highlights that the restrictions in Europe are starting to have an effect.

  • Italy shows clear signs of a peak in new cases. The number of new infections fell for the second day in a row to 4,789 from a peak at 6,500 two days ago. The daily growth is 8%. This fits with the peaks we have seen in other countries, which have coincided with a growth rate below 10%. The growth rate in deaths has also come down to 11%, which validates the picture of slowing infections.

  • Both Germany and France saw a jump in new cases yesterday. Germany registered 4,183 new infections up from 2,500 over the weekend. However, it looks like a correction of 'too low' numbers over the weekend. The same is the case in France, which saw a big increase in new cases to 3,838 from around 2,000 in the previous two days. The daily growth rates have fallen below 20% though, indicating a lower contagion rate. It fits with the lag to Italy of around a week.

  • The US saw a jump in new cases to 11,428 yesterday from below 8,000 bringing the total to 46,145. The daily growth rate is still around 30%, which implies a doubling in three days.

  • In Scandi the number of infections continues to increase but at a fairly modest growth rate around 5-10%. Norway has the highest number of registered infections at 2,625 but a low level of deaths at 10. Sweden has 2,046 cases and 27 deaths, while Denmark has reported 1,460 infections and 24 deaths. Finland has registered 700 infections and only 1 death.

  • India and South America still see a rise in new cases but the growth rate is a bit lower than what we saw in other outbreak countries. There is a lot of uncertainty about the data though, and it could be due to the lack of testing. 

Read more on Danske Bank research's site.

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