Data improving on Covid-19

Amidst the virus mayhem a lot of research has been done.

Human tests on a possible vaccine have already begun (but generally it has been said it could take 12-18 months for a safe publicly available vaccine).

New Scientist: How soon will we have a coronavirus vaccine?

The hope is that we will have a coronavirus vaccine in 12-18 months, but for that to happen we may have to rely on untested techniques – and that comes with its own risks.

Clinical Trials: China to launch clinical trials for coronavirus vaccine

Researchers at China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences have reportedly received approval to launch early-stage clinical trials of a potential coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine starting this week.

According to the Chinese clinical trial registration database, a Phase I test evaluating the safety of the experimental shot in humans intends to recruit 108 healthy people between 16 March and 31 December.

In the US, the first participant has been dosed in the Phase I study of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is conducting the trial under its own investigational new drug (IND) application.

The Phase I study will enrol 45 healthy adults to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of 25μg, 100μg, 250μg dose levels of mRNA-1273 administered on a two-dose vaccination schedule.


World Health Organization experts said that they do not expect the introduction of any fully tested and approved vaccine in the market until the middle of next year.

Beware: Scammers are trying to trick people into reserving a COVID-19 vaccine over the phone

There are likely to be a range of scams.

Al Jazeera: Italy overtakes China’s death toll

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy rose in the last 24 hours by 427 to 3,405, overtaking the total number of deaths so far registered in China, officials said on Thursday.

Thursday’s figure represented a slight improvement on the day before, when Italy recorded 475 deaths from COVID-19, while the world has stepped up efforts against the coronavirus pandemic by closing schools, shutting down cities and imposing strict border controls.

Graph showing deaths in China and Italy and the number days since the first death was recorded in each countryGraph showing deaths in China and Italy and the number days since the first death was recorded in each country

Reuters: Tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus (good graphics here)

At least 9,725 people have died from a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 and 234,106 have been infected globally, following an outbreak that started in Wuhan, China in early December. The World Health Organization referred to it as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

  • Pending cases: 138,359 (59.1%)
  • People recovered: 86,022 (36.7%)
  • Deaths: 9,725 (4.2%)

Though the outbreak started in China, it has now reached 175 countries and territories. 68 of those have reported fatalities. Russia, Mexico, Croatia and Curaçao reported their first fatalities in the past day.

153,199 cases, 65% of the total, have been confirmed outside mainland China. However, 99.9% of the cases added in the last week have been reported outside mainland China.

Just the News: Coronavirus death rate drops: Better math, better treatment or more testing?

The death rate in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began, is now estimated at 1.4 percent after initial reports of 4 percent.

The 4 percent death figure has drifted downward. For instance, the fatality rate in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is believed to have begun, is now estimated at 1.4 percent, according to a study cited in the New England Journal of Medicine.

If one factors in those patients who are infected, but do not get sick or tested, scientists say the rate is exponentially lower.

The current U.S. mortality rate, based on public statistics, has been hovering around 1.5 percent.

As testing and data increased a more accurate rate was always going to be lower, but it is only ever going to be approximate as many people won’t get tested or counted.

The virus and death rates in the US are still relatively low but are rising.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 10,491 cases of coronavirus, an increase of 3404 cases from its previous count, and said the death toll had risen by 53 to 150.

Some good graphics from Reuters including:

Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong are being studied to see how to replicate their success in containment.

Newsroom How our Covid-19 testing compares to South Korea

NZ Government website: Unite against Covid-19


Leave a comment


  1. David

     /  20th March 2020

    This from Italy. It seems like their health system is so overwhelmed that what resources they have are being used on the young and the old and ill are being left to die.
    “The study adds that more than 99 percent of Italy’s coronavirus deaths have been people who were previously ill or had some type of pre-existing medical condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

    Among those who have died from the Wuhan virus in Italy, more than 76 percent of them had high blood pressure, more than 35 percent had diabetes, 33 percent had heart disease, and more than 24 percent had atrial fibrillation, or “AFib,” according to Italy’s national health authority.

    So far, 17 people under the age of 50 have died from the disease in Italy, all of whom have had some type of previous illness, the study finds.

    While the study could provide some insight into why Italy’s coronavirus death rate appears significantly higher than the death rates in other countries — about eight percent — another factor to take into consideration is that the young, healthier people are overwhelming the Italian hospitals.”

  2. Duker

     /  20th March 2020

    More important than vaccine is medical trials underway now to see what existing anti viral medicines will improve outlook for those that are hospitalised…
    If you can cut back the death rate significantly then a lot of the panic will subside and people will accept being in the no symptoms/mild symptoms category and only a very reduced chance of dying if they are hospitalised.

    If they have pneumonia as a side effect to Covid then they should have had the available vaccine for that previously ..cough cough

  3. David

     /  20th March 2020

    Worrying signs from Singapore and South Korea with an uptick as things got back to normal and perhaps a second wave of previously unaffected people catch it.
    Maybe stamping it out quick might not prove to be the way but might be if they can find an anti viral to plunge the severity rate.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th March 2020

    I don’t see why it has to take a year. They need to look at parallel rather than sequential development and pay the extra costs. Promising candidates should be ramped up into manufacture and distribution while safety and efficacy are being evaluated so that they can be implemented immediately when that is completed. Everything that can be done in parallel should be. The cost of discarding failures is negligible compared with the economic and human costs of delays.

    • Duker

       /  20th March 2020

      You dont know what you dont know either..
      You just seem to have the same views as Trump ..almost all complete nonsense.

      US already screwed up when they tried ‘to rush their very own test kits’ and found they didnt work. Should have taken the German ones first and then did it properly if they wanted theor own.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  20th March 2020

        Tosh as previously shown. Irrelevant repetition doesn’t impress.

      • David

         /  20th March 2020

        According to the well respected Drs on the committee said the test kit they had that was offered by the WHO gave false positives in 47% of cases.
        Still think someone at the CDC should be fired but hardly Trumps fault if you still claim he should listen to the experts and take their advice.

  5. Gezza

     /  20th March 2020

    New Zealand has 11 new cases of Covid-19, Ministry of Health director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield has confirmed.

    Of the 11, 5 are in Auckland 2 Waikato, 2 in Wellington and one in Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. None of the new cases are in hospital – all are at home self-isolating, Bloomfield says.

    The new cases brings the country’s total to 39.
    – Stuff

  6. Coronavirus Australia live updates: Prepare for COVID-19 lockdowns, Scott Morrison warns

    Scott Morrison and the National Cabinet will consider powers to lock down areas with coronavirus outbreaks and restrictions on domestic travel next week.

    The chief medical officers will advise the Prime Minister and Premiers on Tuesday how parts of cities could be locked down and whether domestic travel advice needs to change before school holidays.

    “We’ll be tasking to the expert medical panel about what we call localised responses,” Mr Morrison said.


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